Illegal activities online are a very dangerous business especially if it concerns the western countries like United States or United Kingdom. Two Pakistani men, Sheikh Waseem and Tahir Saeed, learned this the hard way after they were caught shipping illegal pharmaceuticals from Karachi and United Kingdom to United States on the dark web.
“These defendants operated their Internet marketing scheme from Pakistan and were able to ship drugs illegally and directly to U.S. citizens,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
Waseem Ul Haq, 43, and Tahir, 54, started their business as an online pharmacy in 2005 and lasted for 8 years. In 2012, their immense sales on the deep web raised a lot of suspicion which led authorities to take action.
Both these men illegally shipped over $2 million of pharmaceuticals from Pakistan and the United Kingdom to customers worldwide, including nearly $780,000 in sales to U.S. purchasers.
Arrest, Charges and Sentencing
After months of undercover dealings, the London Metropolitan Police Service Fugitive Squad arrested both defendants in October 2012. Their arrest took place at a hotel near Heathrow Airport where they were allegedly dealing.
They were extradited shortly after their arrest and since 2012, they remained under custody. Their trial took place earlier this month which proved them guilty.
Waseem plead guilty to all 48 counts of the indictment, which included importing controlled substance pharmaceuticals; conspiracy to introduce misbranded pharmaceuticals into interstate commerce; importation and distribution of controlled substance pharmaceuticals; introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded drugs and conspiracy to commit international money laundering.
Tahir pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import controlled substance pharmaceuticals into the United States, conspiracy to introduce misbranded pharmaceuticals into interstate commerce and conspiracy to commit international money laundering.
Pakistani Officials’ Role In Collusion
The defendants admitted that they paid bribes and had people working for them in Pakistan to ensure shipments were not delayed and sent without raising any eyebrows.
“The defendants packaged the drug shipments in ways that reduced the likelihood of interdiction by customs inspectors,” the Department of Justice said.