Muhammad Asif Hafeez, a/k/a “Sultan,” 58, a Pakistani national who allegedly even tried to open up a drug manufacturing plant in India, was provisionally arrested in London on charges filed in the Southern District of New York, which were unsealed today.
The charges relate to Hafeez’ alleged participation in drug-trafficking activities involving large, and in some instances multi-ton, quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and methamphetamine precursor chemicals from Kenya and Mozambique to London and New York. The United States plans to seek his extradition from the United Kingdom.
In the U.S., Hafeez is charged with 1. conspiring to import heroin into the United States; 2. conspiring to import methamphetamine into the United States; and 3. aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, knowing and intending that it would be imported into the United States. Each charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
According to the allegations in Superseding Indictments filed in Manhattan federal court, Hafeez and his co-conspirators sought to establish a methamphetamine-production facility in Mozambique, but were forced to abandon their plan after law enforcement authorities seized approximately 18 tons of ephedrine from a factory in Solapur, India, including several tons of ephedrine that Hafeez and his co-conspirators planned to use as a precursor chemical to manufacture methamphetamine in Mozambique.
Hafeez is also charged with conspiring with co-defendants Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami to import heroin into the United States. According to the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Baktash Akasha Abdalla was the leader of an organized crime family in Kenya (the “Akasha Organization”), which was responsible for the production and distribution of ton quantities of narcotics within Kenya and throughout Africa and maintained a network used to distribute narcotics for importation into the United States. In October 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered a one-kilogram heroin sample, on behalf of Hafeez and the Akasha Organization, to confidential sources acting at the direction of the DEA in Nairobi. In early November 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered 98 additional kilograms of heroin to the sources.
In November 2014, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Hussein, and Goswami were provisionally arrested in Kenya. They arrived in New York for prosecution based on the pending drug-trafficking charges in January 2017.
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictments charging Hafeez, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.