Nigeria extradites suspected Pakistani drug baron to US

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The Federal Government has extradited to the United States of America (USA) Muhammad Khalid Khan, a Pakistani citizen indicted for drug dealing and money laundering.

Khan, 31, was extradited on April 28 through a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Justice, Nigeria’s Ministry of Justice, prosecutors from Nigeria’s Central Authority Unit (CAU) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

According to a statement by the United States Consulate-General, Lagos, Khan was arrested at the request of the U.S. Justice Department in Nigeria pursuant to a federal arrest warrant issued in the Southern District of New York.

It said Khan trafficked heroin into the US and Australia, among other places.

He also allegedly used a Lagos-based Nigerian narcotics transportation network to distribute southwest-Asian heroin to global markets.

The U.S. Federal indictment out of the Southern District of New York charges Khan on three counts: “attempting to import heroin into the United States, international promotional money laundering, and international concealment money laundering.”

The statement said: “Muhammad Khalid Khan controlled an international drug trafficking and money laundering network responsible for trafficking narcotics to the U.S., Australia, Africa and Europe.

“His money-laundering network was widespread throughout the U.S. Australia, Canada, Africa, Europe and Asia.

“Khan has been the target of multiple DEA (US Drug Enforcement Agency) investigations including those conducted by international DEA Offices in Lagos, Nigeria, Islamabad, Pakistan, and Sydney, Australia, and domestic offices in New York and the DEA Special Operations Division, as well international partnerships with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“Beginning in October 2017, DEA began investigating this Southwest Asia-based drug trafficker.

“Over the course of several investigations, Khan was found to be responsible for trafficking multi-kilogram quantities of heroin and the importation of said heroin into the United States and Australia.

“NDLEA investigators in conjunction with the DEA Lagos Office ran a parallel investigation into Khan’s utilization of a Lagos-based Nigerian narcotics transportation network, in furtherance of distribution of southwest-Asian heroin to global markets.

According to the US, Khan, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison on Count One, and a maximum sentence of 20 years on each of Counts Two and Three.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the DEA Lagos Country Office said they looked “forward to continuing a collaborative effort between the Nigerian Ministry of Justice and their Nigerian law enforcement partners in furtherance of identifying and bringing to justice transnational criminal organizations whom are determined to saturate our communities with illegal, and dangerous controlled substances around the world.”

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