Nigeria Extradites U.S. Defendant For Drug Trafficking

Tayo Olanipekun

Agencies of the Nigerian government assisted the United States of America in the arrest and successful extradition of a Pakistani national charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, U.S Mission to Nigeria has said.

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice with the prosecutors from the Central Authority Unit (CAU) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) made possible the arrest and extradition to the U.S.  of Muhammad Khalid KHAN, a U.S defendant, according to United States Consulate General in Lagos.

The 31-year-old man, who was extradited on April 28,  was arrested in Nigeria at the request of the U.S. Justice Department in the country 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,” said the Consulate.

Charges leveled against KHAN, based in Southwest Asia, include attempted narcotics importation, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the U.S., and international money laundering.

KHAN was alleged  to have controlled an intercontinental drug trafficking and money laundering network responsible for trafficking narcotics to the U.S., Australia, Africa and Europe, with money-laundering network also widespread throughout the U.S. Australia, Canada, Africa, Europe and Asia.

The indicted defendant has been the target of multiple Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, including those conducted by international DEA Offices in Lagos, Pakistan, and Australia, beginning from October 2017.

This is as KHAN was similarly investigated by the DEA Special Operations Division as well as international partnerships with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

He 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. Federal indictment out of the Southern District of New York charges him on three counts of attempting to import heroin into the United States, international promotional money laundering and international concealment money laundering.

If convicted, KHAN faces 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 or as prescribed by the U.S Congress and determined by a judge.

Post Author: Tayo Olanipekun