The US state department on Thursday announced rewards of up to $2 million on a Pakistani human smuggler who allegedly operates the network based in Pakistan’s Nowshera. US statement department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that the smuggling network, run by Abid Ali Khan, facilitates the travel of undocumented individuals from the Middle East and southwest Asia to the US in exchange for money.
“In addition to planning and coordinating the international travel from Pakistan through multiple countries, Ali Khan allegedly offered or provided false documents for foreign nationals to use for travel,” the state department said.
The United States is offering up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Ali Khan, and $1 million for information leading to the financial disruption of the Pakistan-based human smuggling network. Khan was indicted by a federal grand jury in April for allegedly running a scheme to smuggle undocumented individuals into the US from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Citing court documents, the US justice department had said that the Pakistani national allegedly “encouraged, induced, and brought” undocumented individuals to the US for “commercial advantage and financial gain.” The US treasury department followed the indictment with sanctions on Pakistan-based transnational human smuggling organization, designating it as a significant ‘Transnational Criminal Organization.’
Illegal entry to the United States is often facilitated by smuggling organisations that take advantage of the vulnerable population but also put their lives at risk as it can involve walking for days through difficult terrain with little food or water. The state department said that many such undocumented individuals fall victim to robbery and abuse during the journey.