July 1, 2010, - 4:49 pm
Yesterday, Eskender Henareh Mafarani was sentenced to 37 months in prison for trying to smuggle into the U.S. more than $2.1 million in U.S. cash, six cell phones, and a laptop computer in late 2008. The cash was wrapped in 130 bundles and it and the cellphone and computer were hidden inside Mafarani’s truck as it attempted to cross into the U.S. from Canada over the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit. Mafarani lied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
But press reports refer to Mafarani as only a “Canadian.” Here’s the full scoop on Mafarani: he is an Iranian Muslim of Kurdish descent who emigrated to Canada. Because of the way the money was packaged and the multiple cell phones, ICE agents believed that he was involved in drug dealing. And it appears he could also have been involved in terrorist financing. According to documents concerning Mafarani, he made many trips in and out of the U.S. from Canada, using similar trucks. X-Ray images caught the hidden cash. Check out the affidavit signed by ICE Senior Special Agent Anthony C. Romolino in the Federal Criminal Complaint against Mafarani.
But that was this time. The guy is 54 years old. I guarantee this wasn’t his virgin illicit mission. Who knows how many times he smuggled large amounts of cash like that? With whom did he meet in his previous truck driving trips into the U.S.? Again, we’re talking over $2 million, just in this one haul. Where was he planning to take the cash? What was he planning on doing with it? I repeat: the man is Iranian and Muslim. We don’t know with whom he’s allied. His Kurdish background doesn’t mean much, as some Kurds, such as illegal alien and Islamic terrorist Ibrahim Parlak, trained with assorted deadly Islamic terrorists in terrorist training camps in Syria.
Sadly, as far as we know, the federal government, which allowed Mafarani to plead guilty and go to prison for just over three years, didn’t force him to tell all as a condition of his plea agreement. If he did, he’d likely have gotten a far lower sentence. And this doesn’t appear to depart or divert down much from a typical guilty plea deal in such a case. Perhaps he is working with them, but I doubt it. Don’t expect much.
So, who was going to get the money? And what was it for? Drug deals? Or terrorist financing and weapons purchases? And who was to be on the receiving end of the cash and cell phones?
We’ll probably never know.
Kudos to the sharp CBP inspectors who caught the cash and the ICE agents who made the case, including ICE Agent Tony Romolino.
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