Pakistani National Pleads Guilty in Terrorism Financing Scheme
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
Imdad Ullah Ranjha, age 34, a Pakistani national residing in Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to operate an unlicensed money remitting business, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, Imdad Ranjha worked at Hamza, Inc., a money remitter business in the District of Columbia operated by co-defendant Saifullah Ranjha (S. Ranjha). Saifullah Anjum Ranjha, age 45, a Pakistani national residing in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to concealing terrorist financing and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
A cooperating witness, acting at the direction of law enforcement, gave S. Ranjha and his associates a total of $2,208,000 in government funds in order to transfer the monies abroad through an informal money transfer system called a â€œhawala,â€ using a network of persons and/or businesses to transfer money across domestic and international borders without reliance upon conventional banking systems and regulations. The cooperating witness represented that the monies were the proceeds of, and related to, his purported illegal activities, including drug trafficking.
S. Ranjha was the primary point of contact for the cooperating witness and received the bulk of the monies from the cooperating witness. S. Ranjha was assisted on some occasions by Imdad Ullah Ranjha, and another co-defendant each of whom kept the cooperating witness apprised, either in person or on the phone, of transaction details. Most of the monies were turned over to S. Ranjha at locations in Maryland.
On a few occasions, the cooperating witness met with S. Ranjha, Imdad Ranjha or other associates at Hamza, Inc., to provide them with monies for a particular hawala transfer. S. Ranjha arranged with Imdad Ranjha and other associates for the equivalent amount of monies, minus commissions, to be delivered to the cooperating witness, his third party designee, or a designated bank account in Canada, England, Spain, Pakistan, Japan and Australia.
S. Ranjha kept a commission of approximately five percent of the amount of currency sought to be transferred on each occasion. Other conspirators involved in a particular transaction retained an additional commission of between three to five percent of the transaction amount. All the funds transferred abroad were picked up by cooperating individuals and returned to the Government.
“ICE is committed to ensuring the integrity of the nation’s financial systems and will continue to pursue those who seek to exploit it through cooperative law enforcement efforts with our federal and international law enforcement partners,â€ stated Scot R. Rittenberg, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Baltimore, Maryland.
Special Agent in Charge C. Andreâ€™ Martin, IRS-Criminal Investigation stated, “IRS-Criminal Investigation has the financial investigators and expertise critical to locating the money and prosecuting the offenders. IRS-Criminal Investigation is united with the rest of the law enforcement community in our resolve to financially disrupt those that commit crimes against our society and the world economy.â€.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation for their investigative work. In addition, Mr. Rosenstein thanked our international partners, the Spanish National Police; Australian Federal Police; London Metropolitan Police; and Royal Canadian Mounted Police for their help.
Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Christine Manuelian who is prosecuting the case.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors Examiner.com appointed him as their Law Enforcement Examiner. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for NewswithViews.com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 300 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.