The US has described as “resounding”, the assistance of the federal government and law enforcement agencies in the extradition of a wanted “drug baron”.
According to a statement from the public affairs section of the US embassy in Nigeria, Muhammad Khalid Khan, the 31-year-old suspect, was arrested in Nigeria following a federal arrest warrant issued in New York.
The US indicted Khan, a Pakistani, on three counts–attempting to import heroin into the United States, international promotional money laundering, and international concealment of money laundering.
The US department of justice said it “heavily depended and relied on the support and professionalism of Nigerian law enforcement in coordinating the successful arrest and extradition of KHAN, who is charged with attempted narcotics importation, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the U.S., and international money laundering.”
The consulate general said if convicted, Khan stands 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 United States (U.S.) Department of Justice with the resounding assistance of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice – Attorney General Abubakar Malami, prosecutors from the Central Authority Unit (CAU), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) under the leadership of Chairman Chief Executive Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd), successfully extradited U.S. indicted defendant Muhammad Khalid KHAN to the U.S.,” the statement read.
“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 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 is charged with attempted narcotics importation, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the U.S., 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 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-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.
“The U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the DEA Lagos Country Office looks 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.”