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Bangladeshi pleads guilty to smuggling immigrants into US

  • Published at 03:00 pm August 31st, 2019
Us-Mexico border wall
A general view shows a new section of actual border fencing near San Diego, California, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico February 27, 2019 Reuters

Between March 2017 to August 2018, Moktar conspired to bring and succeeded in bringing a total of 14 Bangladeshis to the US

A Bangladeshi has pleaded guilty in an US court in Texas to smuggling undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States, several US media outlets report.

Moktar Hossain, 31, has pleaded guilty to smuggling illegal immigrants into the US from Mexico for the purpose of turning a profit, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports quoting the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a news release published on DOJ website on Tuesday, the DOJ revealed that Moktar formerly residing in Monterrey, Mexico, admitted to housing illegal immigrants near the US-Mexico border, many from Bangladesh, between March 2017 to August 2018.

Additionally, Moktar paid multiple drivers to transport the illegal immigrants across the border, even going so far as to provide instructions for crossing the Rio Grande River.

“Human smuggling is a national security threat,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“Today’s plea makes clear that defendants who smuggle illegal aliens across the United States border for profit should expect to face the consequences in a United States courtroom.”

Moktar’s arrest is the result of a collaborative effort between multiple divisions of the US Homeland Security Investigations, as well as the US Customs and Border Protection, US Border Patrol, and the US Marshals Service.

According to a 2018 DOJ news release, authorities arrested Moktar on November 29, 2018.

The original unsealed indictment alleged that between March 2017 to August 2018, Moktar conspired to bring and succeeded in bringing a total of 14 Bangladeshis to the US through the Texas border.

According to the DOJ, he operated a hotel as a front for his illegal activities where he housed the prospective illegal immigrants before they were transported by drivers across the border and then past the Rio Grande River.

Moktar was presented before US Magistrate Judge Dena Hanovice Palermo in the Southern District of Texas on November 30, 2018. Judge Palermo ordered him be held before being transferred to Laredo for further criminal proceedings.

Sentencing for Moktar, who could face twenty years in prison, has not been scheduled, yet.