The United States on April 7 imposed sanctions on a Pakistani national and a smuggling organization it said he runs to help people migrate illegally from Pakistan and Afghanistan into the United States.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Abid Ali Khan and the transnational criminal organization he allegedly runs, calling it “a prolific human smuggling organization." It said some of the people who have been smuggled into the United States may pose a national security risk.
Khan’s organization has facilitated the smuggling of foreign nationals through Latin America since at least 2015, the Treasury Department said in a statement. The average cost was $20,000 per individual, the statement said.
"Abid Ali Kahn allegedly organized and leads a widespread smuggling organization that facilitates the illegal smuggling of individuals through various countries and to the United States," Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in the statement.
Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of the Foreign Assets Control, said the organization “should not be allowed to prey on the vulnerable and take advantage of the U.S. financial system.”
The move freezes any U.S. assets held by Khan and three people and one entity associated with the organization that were sanctioned along with him. The sanctions also generally bar Americans from dealing with them.
The three people are Afghan national Redi Hussein Khal Gul, who allegedly serves as Khan’s secretary, and Pakistani nationals Shakeel Karim Mohammed and Choudry Ikram Waraich. They are accused of assisting Kahn in a number of ways, including obtaining fraudulent documents for the migrants. The entity is Friends Travel Inn Private Limited in Peshawar.
Khan did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by RFE/RL to two e-mail addresses listed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.