Extensive coordination and cooperation efforts between United States and Brazilian law enforcement authorities has culminated in the Brazil Federal Police (DPF) conducting a significant enforcement operation to disrupt and dismantle a transnational alien smuggling organization, including the arrest on Brazilian charges of an alleged alien smuggler who has also been indicted in the United States. The alien smugglers targeted in this operation are alleged to be responsible for the illicit smuggling of scores of individuals from South Asia and elsewhere, into Brazil, and ultimately to the United States.
Saifullah Al-Mamun aka Saiful Al-Mamun, 32, was arrested in Brazil. Al-Mamun is charged in a superseding indictment unsealed October 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas – Laredo Division, charging him with eight conspiracy and alien smuggling counts. The enforcement operation included the execution of multiple search warrants and the additional arrests of seven Brazil-based human smugglers on Brazilian charges: Saifullah Al-Mamun, 32; Saiful Islam, 32; Tamoor Khalid, 31; Nazrul Islam, 41; Mohammad Ifran Chaudhary, 39; Mohammad Nizam Uddin, 28; and Md Bulbul Hossain, 36.
According to the indictment, Al-Mamun is alleged to have housed the aliens in São Paulo, Brazil and arranged for their travel through a network of smugglers operating out of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico to the United States. In return for smuggling the aliens into the United States, Al-Mumun and his two co-conspirators, are alleged to have arranged to be paid in Mexico, Central America, South America, Bangladesh, and elsewhere.
Both the indictment against Al-Mamun and assistance provided by U.S. authorities to Brazilian law enforcement were coordinated under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present particular national security or public safety risks, or present grave humanitarian concerns.
HSI Phoenix led U.S. investigative efforts, working in concert with HSI Brasilia, HSI Laredo, the HSI Human Smuggling Unit ECT program, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center, the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center, the HSI Liaison to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Southern Command, Operation CITADEL, BITMAP, and the National Targeting Center. The Justice Department, both Criminal Division’s HRSP and the Office of International Affairs, provided significant assistance.
Trial Attorneys James Hepburn, Erin Cox, and Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section are handling the U.S. investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.