(CN) – Federal prosecutors in New York said Friday that authorities in the United Kingdom have arrested a Pakistani national charged in the United States with trafficking “large and in some instances multi-ton” quantities of heroin, methamphetamine and the chemicals used to make meth.
In a criminal complaint unsealed Friday, federal prosecutors charged Muhammad Asif Hafeez, 58, with conspiracy to import heroin into the United States; conspiracy to import methamphetamine into the United States; and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin for import into the United States. Each charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say that since 2013, Hafeez – also known as “Sultan” – and his co-conspirators worked to bring meth into the United States. To accomplish that, they first tried to set up a production facility in Mozambique but the plan backfired when authorities in India seized tons of ephedrine – the precursor the group intended to use to make the meth, according to the complaint.
Hafeez also worked with an organized crime family in Kenya to bring heroin to the United States, prosecutors say. Several members of the family were arrested by Kenyan authorities in 2014 after they sold over 200 pounds of heroin to an undercover operative working for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the complaint.
Kenya extradited the Kenyan crime family to the United States earlier this year. The United States intends to seek Hafeez’s extradition from Britain, prosecutors said.