Sharafat Ali Khan, a Brazilian nationalized Pakistani, was convicted by US authorities as the leader of a human trafficking gang. They used Costa Rica, among other countries in the region, to reach the United States.
The United States Department of Justice reported that Ali Khan, 32, was sentenced to 31 months in prison for trafficking undocumented immigrants from Pakistan or anywhere else in the world to the United States.
The leader of that organization pleaded guilty to the US District Judge, Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia. He was extradited to the United States from Qatar on July 13th, 2016. After his term in prison, he will be deported to Pakistan.
US District Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District of Columbia stated that Khan
was at the center of a vast network of human smuggling that took advantage of the desperation of foreigners hoping to enter the United States. He was responsible for organizing, coordinating and controlling the smugglers and lower level associates of the operation. Their actions put their clients, and the United States, at significant risk.”
Ángel Meléndez, Special Agent for National Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (HSI) explained that the Pakistani organized a complex network that was open to the highest bidder to transport undocumented immigrants, no matter who they were. They were transferred from Pakistan and elsewhere through Brazil, up to Costa Rica and then to the United States.
Khan admitted that the trip included extreme conditions for people.
The Directorate Migration established that the largest number of migrants comes from Nepañ. A total of 384 Nepalese people arrived in Costa Rica in August, while the first weeks of September totaled 376.
In addition, people from Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Congo, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Mali and other places have arrived in Costa Rica as a route to the United States.
The most dramatic case reported in the country is the death of a 4-year-old Congolese boy, who traveled with at least 50 immigrants in a boat when they were intercepted in Bahía Salinas, Guanacaste.