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| 11 men face conspiracy charges; some accused of money laundering.|
Jump to full article: Charlotte (NC) Observer, 2012-01-28
Author: Gary L. Wright The Charlotte Observer
Eleven men have been indicted in Charlotte and accused of conspiring to pay more than $7.5 million in cash for over 400,000 cartons of cigarettes they believed had been stolen.
Some of the suspects also are accused of laundering money through legitimate businesses they owned or controlled.
The men are charged with conspiring to receive and transport across North Carolina and South Carolina Marlboro cigarettes they thought had been stolen in Virginia and Tennessee.
But unknown to the defendants, they were dealing with undercover law enforcement agents and officers.
The cigarettes purchased during the sting had a wholesale value of more than $15 million.
. . .
The indicted defendants: Ahmed Samy Hosny Kareem, also known as "Sammy," Kamal Zaki Qazah, also known as "Keemo," Tha'er Ismail Ayyad, also known as "Old Man" and "Wild Man," Wael Mahmoud Salem, also known as "Tony," Zafer Ramadan Kafozi, also known as "Uncle Jack," Ziad Hashem Najjar, also known as "Z," Murad Ayyad, also known as "Mike," Nasser Kamal Alquza, Khaled Fadel Ibrahim, Jose Calderon-Silver and Hesham Rahman. . . .
During a dinner meeting in Charlotte in January 2011, one of the suspects explained how he purchases cars in the United States and ships them overseas as a way to launder money.
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