Palestinian Smuggling Ring in U.S. May Have Supported Hamas and Hizbullah

(Long Island Exchange) 16 Palestinians living in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland - members of a criminal ring that flooded New York with more than a million cartons of untaxed cigarettes - were named Thursday in a 244-count indictment, unsealed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The investigation has so far uncovered $55 million in illegal cigarette sales. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, "The association of some of the suspects in this case to the Ari Halbestram's killer, the Blind Sheik and a top Hamas official concerns us....We're concerned because similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hizbullah." Investigators seized three handguns from ringleader Basel Ramadan and grabbed $1.4 million stashed throughout his Ocean City, Maryland, residence. The untaxed cigarettes were sold to a myriad of Arab markets and grocery stores in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.

2013-05-17 00:00:00

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