Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Unites States has expressed delight in the assistance of the Federal government which ensured the successful extradition of a drug kingpin, Muhammad Khalid Khan, a Pakistani national to the United States.
Khan, 31, according to the Public Affairs Section, United States Consulate, Lagos, is a southwest Asia-based drug trafficker.
The Consulate stated that 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.
The United States also said its Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the DEA Lagos Country Office looked forward to continuing a collaborative effort between the Nigerian Ministry of Justice and the Nigerian law enforcement partners in furtherance of identifying and bringing to justice, transnational criminal organisations who are determined to saturate communities with illegal and dangerous controlled substances around the world.
The US added that on April 28, 2019, its Department of Justice, with the resounding assistance of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice – the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, prosecutors from the Central Authority Unit (CAU), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) under the leadership of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Col. Muhammad, Mustapha Abdallah (rtd), successfully extradited Khan, a US- indicted defendant.
The US also said the Department of Justice heavily depended and relied on the support and professionalism of Nigerian law enforcement in coordinating the successful arrest and extradition of Khan who was charged with attempted narcotics importation, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the US and international money laundering.
“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. Muhammad Khalid Khan has been the target of multiple DEA 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 as international partnerships with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“Beginning in October 2017, Khan, DEA began investigating this southwest Asia-based drug trafficker. Over the course of several investigations, Khan was found to be responsible for trafficking multi-kilogramme 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 utilisation of a Lagos-based Nigerian narcotics transportation network in furtherance of distribution of southwest-Asian heroin to global markets,” the United States said.
The US further said the federal indictment 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 US added that if convicted, Khan faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison on count one, and a maximum sentence of 20 years on each of counts two and three.
“The statutory minimum and maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge,” the United States added.