Four individuals, including an Indian and a Pakistani, charged with participating in an operation to import large quantities of narcotics into the U.S., arrived in New York from Kenya, Jan. 29, where they will stand trial.
Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami a/k/a Vijay Goswami, a/k/a Vicky Goswami, 55, an Indian resident in Kenya, along with three others – Baktash Akasha Abdalla, 40, his brother Ibrahim Akasha Abdallah, 25, both Kenyan nationals, and Gulam Hussein, 61, a Pakistani national – were arrested in Mombasa, Kenya, on November 9, 2014, at the request of after U.S. authorities.
They are charged with conspiring to import heroin into the United States (Count One), conspiring to import methamphetamine into the United States (Count Two), distributing heroin for unlawful importation into the United States (Count Three), and distributing methamphetamine for unlawful importation in the United States (Count Four).
Each count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The charges were filed in the Southern District of New York. The four were arraigned in Magistrate Court Jan. 30 in New York.
“As alleged, the four defendants who arrived yesterday in New York ran a Kenyan drug trafficking organization with global ambitions,” Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, is quoted saying in a Jan. 30 press release. “For their alleged distribution of literally tons of narcotics – heroin and methamphetamine – around the globe, including to America, they will now face justice in a New York federal court,” Bharara added.
According to the allegations against them, from about March 2014 till their arrest, the four conspired to import large quantities of heroin into the U.S. In addition, three of them, Goswami, Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha, also conspired to import methamphetamine into the U.S. in large quantities.
According to U.S. prosecutors, Goswami managed the drug business for the Kenyan organized crime family led by Baktash Akasha and his deputy (and brother) Ibrahim Akasha. Goswami oversaw the production and distribution of methamphetamine and procurement and distribution of methamphetamine and procurement and distribution of heroin, U.S. for the “Akasha Organization” authorities say.
Hussein, a resident of Pakistan and a long-time associate of Goswami, heads a transportation network that distributes massive quantities of narcotics throughout the Middle East and Africa, and has acknowledged responsibility for transporting tons of kilograms of heroin by sea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in the release.
In what appears to be a U.S. sting operation, the four accused agreed to supply and did in fact, supply multi-kilogram quantities of heroin and methamphetamine to individuals they believed to be representatives of a South American drug-trafficking organization, but who were in fact confidential sources working at the direction and under the supervision of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The negotiations were conducted over the course of several months, during telephone calls and meetings in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya.
Baktash Akasha, Ibrahim Akasha, and Goswami negotiated on behalf of the Akasha Organization to procure and distribute hundreds of kilograms of heroin from suppliers in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region and to produce and distribute hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine, which they understood would ultimately be imported into the United States. At the same time, Hussein agreed to transport heroin from the Akasha Organization’s supplier in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region to East Africa, so that it could be delivered to the American confidential sources, investigators said.
In a meeting in Mombasa in April 2014, Baktash Akasha introduced a DEA source via Skype to one of his heroin suppliers in Pakistan, after which Goswami began discussing with DEA sources his ability to procure the hundreds of kilograms of pure heroin, and to establish labs to produce methamphetamine for being imported to the United States.
During the negotiations, Hussein, the Pakistani accused, was allegedly introduced to DEA confidential sources, as a narcotics transporter from Afghanistan, and was referred to as “the Sultan” and as the top supplier of heroin in the world.
Authorities say the Akasha Organization provided a total of 99 kilograms of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine to the DEA confidential sources, and agreed to provide hundreds of kilograms more of each, authorities allege. They were arrested on Nov. 9, 2014, in Mombasa, prior to another planned meeting with the confidential sources.