A Canadian nationwide pleaded responsible immediately to conspiracy to convey aliens to america for personal monetary achieve in connection together with his function in a scheme to smuggle aliens from Sri Lanka via the Caribbean and into america.
As a part of the plea, Sri Kajamukam Chelliah, aka Mohan, aka Richie, 55, of Sri Lanka, admitted to conspiring with others to facilitate the journey of aliens from Sri Lanka via Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas to america from on or about July 1, 2019 via on or about Oct. 10, 2019. In the course of the course of the conspiracy, Chelliah labored with different human smugglers, arranging housing and transport for unlawful aliens en path to Canada via america. Sentencing might be scheduled at a later date.
“By collaborating in a smuggling operation which deliberate to illegally transport people via varied nations, together with america, the defendant jeopardized the nationwide safety of america for his personal monetary profit” stated Appearing Assistant Lawyer Common Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Division’s Prison Division. “As this case demonstrates, the Prison Division is dedicated to working with our legislation enforcement companions each right here and overseas to convey human smugglers to justice and to disrupt and dismantle the worldwide networks they function.”
Chelliah organized for the people to be transported from the airport in Port Au Prince, Haiti, to a resort the place Chelliah housed and offered them with meals. Chelliah then organized for transportation by boat from Haiti to Turks and Caicos Islands, then to the Bahamas, after which by boat to Miami, Florida. Chelliah accompanied the people, together with touring with them by boat throughout their journey. The actions undertaken by Chelliah and co-conspirators in furtherance of their smuggling actions had been completed in change for cost.
Particularly, Chelliah additional admitted as a part of the plea that from roughly October 2017 to roughly September 2019, six Sri Lankan nationals with no authorized proper to return to, enter, or reside in america, travelled from Sri Lanka to Haiti with the help of human smugglers. Upon arrival in Haiti, Chelliah organized for the six people to be picked up on the airport and brought to a resort. Chelliah organized for the people to be housed and fed on the resort, then journey by boat from Haiti to Turks and Caicos Islands and from Turks and Caicos Islands to the Bahamas. The six aliens would then journey from the Bahamas to Miami, Florida, by boat.
In keeping with the plea settlement, on Oct. 10, 2019, the six aliens, accompanied by Chelliah, boarded a Haitian sloop sailboat heading for Turks and Caicos Islands. The Haitian sloop sailboat carrying roughly 154 aliens, together with Chelliah, was subsequently interdicted by Turks and Caicos authorities. Chelliah was arrested and finally convicted in Turks and Caicos on native immigration prices and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. Following the completion of his jail sentence, he was positioned in immigration detention in Turks and Caicos.
Chelliah was later arrested on July 28, 2020, by Turks and Caicos authorities, primarily based on a provisional arrest request submitted by america premised on a sealed U.S. prison criticism. He consented to extradition and, on Aug. 15, 2020, the Governor of Turks and Caicos issued an order permitting the extradition to america. Chelliah was extradited to america on Aug. 17, 2020, and the prison criticism was unsealed at his preliminary look on the identical date.
This case is being investigated by HSI Miami, with help from the HSI Human Smuggling Unit and U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP). The investigation is being carried out below the Extraterritorial Prison Journey Strike Drive (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Division’s Prison Division and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that will current explicit nationwide safety or public security dangers, or current grave humanitarian considerations. ECT has devoted investigative, intelligence and prosecutorial assets. ECT coordinates and receives help from different U.S. authorities businesses and international legislation enforcement authorities.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Rami S. Badawy and John Alex-Romano of the Prison Division’s Human Rights and Particular Prosecutions Part (HRSP), and Assistant U.S. Lawyer Brian Dobbins of the Southern District of Florida, with help from HRSP Trial Lawyer Jim Hepburn. The Justice Division’s Workplace of Worldwide Affairs offered important help within the investigation and in securing the defendant’s extradition to america. The Division of Justice gratefully acknowledges the federal government of Turks and Caicos Islands for his or her priceless help.