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Indian-origin man linked to Pak-Afghan drug trade: US prosecutor

New York, Feb 1 (IANS) An Indian-origin man, who was allegedly a member of an international gang that trafficked drugs from Pakistan-Afghanistan region, was caught in Kenya and brought to the US to face narcotics charges, New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara has said.

Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami and three others “ran a Kenyan drug trafficking organisation with global ambitions,” Bharara said on Tuesday.

“For their alleged distribution of literally tonnes of narcotics – heroin and methamphetamine – around the globe, including to America, they will now face justice in a New York federal court,” he added.

The prosecution’s account of the 2014 operation to bring down the gang known as “Akasha Organization” sounds like a thriller with undercover operatives who pretended to be South American drug dealers to infiltrate it and used Skype to communicate.

They code-named heroin “chickens” and touted its quality as “diamond.” The operatives, described as “confidential sources” (CSs), were working under the direction of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein and Goswami, who also called himself Vijay and Vicky, were arrested in Mombasa, Kenya, in November, 2014, at the request of the US government and finally brought here on Monday, officials said.

They were to be produced before a federal magistrate judge later on Tuesday.

The four were charged with narcotics offences based on their plan to export to the US 99 kilogram of heroin and two kilogram of methamphetamine that they brought to Kenya, the prosecution said.

Hussein, described as a resident of Pakistan and a long-time associate of Goswami, headed a transportation network that distributed massive quantities of narcotics throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Hussein has “acknowledged responsibility” for transporting tonnes of heroin by sea, according to the prosecution.

Believing the operatives were South American drug cartel members, the four negotiated with them on behalf of the Akasha Organization to procure hundreds of kilos of heroin from suppliers in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region and to produce hundreds of kilos of methamphetamine to be sent to the US, the prosecution said.

Hussein agreed to transport the heroin to East Africa, for delivery to the undercover operatives, according to the prosecution account.

Goswami, meanwhile, told the operatives that the South American cartel would have to pay for only half the consignment of 98 kilogram of heroin that Ibrahim Akasha delivered to them, prosecutors said.

The four men were arrested before another planned meeting with the operatives.

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