Indian Man Sentenced for Role in Human Smuggling OperationTop Stories

July 10, 2019 16:45
Indian Man Sentenced for Role in Human Smuggling Operation

(Image source from: Voice of America)

An Indian national was sentenced to one year and a day in prison by New Jersey court on Tuesday for his role in an international conspiracy to smuggle people from India.

The 39-year-old Bhavin Patel operated a smuggling ring that brought foreign nationals into the United States in exchange for fees. The foreign nationals would fly out of Thailand to the U.S.

Undercover federal agents had been watching Patel since 2013 even some of them posing as smugglers and he was ultimately arrested on December 7, 2018, at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Patel had pleaded guilty before United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey John Vazquez. The judge pronounced the sentence in Newark federal court in the State of New Jersey on Tuesday.

According to statements made in court and documents filed in this case, agents for the Department of Homeland Security Investigations received info that a human smuggling operation carried out by Patel was making an attempt to breakthrough methods to bring people from India into the U.S.

The probe revealed that the smuggling organization recruited Indians and others nationals to pay fees in exchange for passage to the U.S.

From October 2013 till his arrest in Newark Liberty International Airport on December 7, 2018, federal officials alleged that Patel arranged for six Indian nationals to be brought to Thailand for smuggling into the U.S. via the Newark airport.

Beginning October 2013, an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a smuggler started meeting with Patel in Bangkok. Patel told the undercover law enforcement officer that he wanted to smuggle Indian nationals into the U.S.

On three different occasions, Patel or his conspirator transported the Indian nationals to an airport in Thailand, at which point the undercover law enforcement officer would probably make use of his contacts to smuggle them into the U.S. via commercial airline flights.

Patel said yes to wire down payments for each individual to be smuggled into the United States and to pay a balance of tens of thousands of dollars for each individual as soon as the foreign nationals arrived in America.

By Sowmya Sangam

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Human smuggling  smuggling  New Jersey