Washington, D.C., February 20 – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Indian national Jasmeet Hakimzada as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). OFAC also designated two Indian nationals and four entities registered in India or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that form part of the narcotics trafficking organization run by Jasmeet Hakimzada. As a result, any assets in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked persons.
“Jasmeet Hakimzada’s global drug trafficking and money laundering network has been involved in smuggling heroin and synthetic opioids around the world,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “This action is a result of years of effort with our U.S. and foreign partners to disrupt the activities of this significant narcotics trafficking organization. We are leveraging extensive international partnerships to deploy a multilayered, coordinated approach to secure our borders and deny narcotics traffickers access to the United States.”
Indian narcotics trafficker Jasmeet Hakimzada, who resides in the UAE, runs a global drug trafficking network that smuggles heroin, cocaine, ephedrine, ketamine, and synthetic opioids into the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Since at least 2008, Jasmeet Hakimzada has laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of illicit proceeds using his UAE-based company Maiwand General Trading Company LLC through financial institutions in the United States, Brazil, India, Panama, the UAE, and the UK.
OFAC also designated two individuals who also reside in the UAE, for their roles in Jasmeet Hakimzada’s criminal organization: Harmohan Hakimzada, Jasmeet’s father, is his primary partner in the drug trafficking and money laundering operation; and Eljeet Kaur, Jasmeet’s mother, who serves as an officer in two front companies in India.
The four entities designated today include three entities based in India — Maiwand Exim Private Limited, Maiwand Tobacco Limited, and Maiwand Beverages Limited — and UAE-based Maiwand General Trading Company LLC, which operates as a front for an array of illicit activities to include shipping narcotics and illegal pharmaceuticals as well as laundering large sums of narcotics proceeds.
On April 5, 2017, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee indicted Jasmeet Hakimzada on 46 counts of drug trafficking and money laundering. Over the course of three years from 2014 through 2016, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted an extensive investigation into Jasmeet Hakimzada’s global narcotics and money laundering operation uncovering dozens of drug trafficking and money laundering-related transactions transiting the United States involving numerous U.S. banks, as well as drug shipments directly to the United States using commercial international courier services.
OFAC coordinated closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee and HSI in order to execute today’s action.
“This investigation highlights the hard work of HSI in Tennessee, working in cooperation with our Treasury partners, and also the global investigative presence HSI brings to the fight against international drug trafficking. Jasmeet Hakimzada’s criminal organization is profiting by importing these dangerous illegal drugs into the United States. HSI is committed to using wide ranging investigative authorities to target these criminals and their finances,” said Derek Benner, the Executive Associate Director for HSI.
Since June 2000, more than 2,200 individuals and entities have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,466,485 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.