Bangladesh National Sentenced in US for Human Smuggling

BenarNews staff
Bangladesh National Sentenced in US for Human Smuggling Men claiming to be from Bangladesh react from inside a cell at a detention center in Songkhla, Thailand, after a crackdown on human smuggling near the border with Malaysia, Feb. 12, 2014.

A Bangladeshi man has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for smuggling his countrymen into the United States, the United States Department of Justice said Thursday.

After serving out his sentence Moktar Hossain will have three years of “supervised release,” a DOJ statement said.

“The defendant was a key player in an organized smuggling network that operated for profit and preyed on Bangladeshi nationals who wanted to enter the United States illegally,” it quoted Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns as saying.

Hossain was based in Monterrey, Mexico, a city about 182 kilometers (113 miles) from the border of the U.S. state of Texas, the statement said. There, he provided accommodations for people aiming to enter the United States illegally. He also paid drivers to transport them to the southern border and instructed them how to cross it, the DOJ said.

Between March 2017 and August 2018 Hossain smuggled 14 Bangladeshi nationals into the U.S. in exchange for payment, according to an indictment. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2019, the department said.

He was arrested on Nov. 29, 2018 upon arriving at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, according to an earlier DOJ statement.

“Border security and national security are one [and] the same,” said Ryan K. Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. “We must know who is coming into the country, and we cannot allow unfiltered access.”

Meanwhile in Dhaka, Bangladeshi police said Thursday they had arrested four suspected members of an international trafficking ring that targeted Bangladeshis intent on going to Europe, holding them for ransom in India before abandoning them in Sri Lanka.

Police recovered 26 passports, 19 seals of different embassies, banks and agencies, and fake visas when they arrested the four, Sheikh Omar Faruque, additional deputy inspector general of the Criminal Investigation Department, told a press conference in the Bangladeshi capital. 

Sharif Khiam contributed to this report from Dhaka.

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