Washington: Two Pakistani nationals have been extradited to the US to face charges that they operated internet sites that illegally shipped pharmaceuticals from Pakistan to the United States and Britain.
Sheikh Waseem Ul Haq, 40, and Tahir Saeed, 51, were arrested in London last year. While Ul Haq was arraigned last fall, Saeed was produced before a US court in District of Columbia on Wednesday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has alleged that since late 2005, the internet site operated by them illegally shipped $2 million in pharmaceuticals from Pakistan and the United Kingdom to customers worldwide, including nearly $780,000 in sales to US purchasers.
If convicted, they face 20 years of imprisonment.
Federal prosecutors in their charge sheet allege that the two 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.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants admitted in e-mails that they paid bribes to Pakistani customs officials to facilitate shipment of the drugs out of Pakistan and warned that US customers bore the risk of interception by US customs officials.
The drugs shipped into the United States 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.