2 Pakistani nationals sentenced for operating illegal pharmaceutical business in America
Washington, Nov 5 : Two Pakistani nationals have been sentenced by a US court for operating Internet sites that illegally shipped pharmaceuticals from Pakistan and the UK to customers in America.
Sheikh Waseem Ul Haq, 43, and Tahir Saeed, 54, who operated the internet sites from 2005 to 2012, were arrested in London in October 2012.
They were extradited to the US in 2013. Under federal custody since then, the two Pakistani nationals had earlier pleaded guilty.
Both sentenced to the time served, now are in the process of being deported to Pakistan, the Department of Justice said.
In addition to their prison terms, each defendant agreed to forfeit USD 388,265.11.
As part of the guilty pleas, they admitted that they owned and operated two businesses — Waseem Enterprises and Harrys Enterprises.
Both businesses were used to conduct wholesale pharmaceutical sales, as well as to unlawfully distribute a wide variety of controlled substances and prescription drugs through Internet sites.
They directed US customers to submit payments via Western Union to numerous individuals in Karachi in order to conceal the fact that the funds were going to Ul Haq and Saeed.
In e-mails, the defendants admitted that they paid bribes to Pakistani customs officials to facilitate shipment of the drugs out of Pakistan.
They then packaged the drug shipments in ways that reduced the likelihood of interdiction by customs inspectors.
The drugs they shipped into the US included methylphenidate (sold as Ritalin); various anabolic steroids; alprazolam (sold as Xanax); diazepam (sold as Valium), lorazepam (sold as Ativan); clonazepam (sold as Klonapin) and other controlled and non-controlled substances.
“These defendants operated their Internet marketing scheme from Pakistan and were able to ship drugs illegally and directly to US citizens,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C Mizer, head of the Justice Department?s Civil Division.