3 Ghanaians busted in US over arms deal
Three men with ties to Ghana have been arrested in New York, United States of America (USA), for illegally trafficking guns in the state.
According to a news report by pix11.com, the three Ghanaians, who are cousins, were busted in an illegal gun-trafficking ring that ran weapons on the streets of Queens, New York.
The suspects include Abdul Haruna, 27, of the Bronx; Ahmed Mutalib, 32, of Georgia, and Murtala Haruna, 30, of Cincinnati.
The report stated that the Queens District Attorney, Melinda Katz, indicated that 109 illegal guns, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition, were seized.
The guns and ammunition were seized during an operation by the traffickers, dubbed the “Amazon Pipeline”, and included pistols, semi-automatic rifles and at least two ghost guns, worth over $120,000.
The authorities indicated that the items seized were delivered by the traffickers using branded Amazon boxes, hence the name "Amazon Pipeline".
District Attorney Melinda Katz said that investigations indicated the illegal guns were likely going to be exported to Ghana.
“We don’t talk about ongoing investigations.
I like to get to the source.
But our priority, the NYPD’s priority, is making sure that the guns that we know about never reach the street,” she added.
The report indicated that the suspects are in custody.
They have been indicted on 575 counts, including firearm, criminal possession of weapons, conspiracy and money laundering charges.
They are likely to be sentenced to 25 years in prison if convicted.
New York Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the arrests on Monday, November 6, saying they were the result of a seven-month “high-stakes, high-risk” investigation into the alleged gun trafficking cartel, which began with an anonymous tip.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of 109 illegal firearms and rifles, 20 assault weapons, 139 high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Prosecutors say a police officer who understands Ghanaian languages was able to translate their conversations from Hausa, Ga and Twi after the defendants’ phones were wiretapped.