Thanks to Jeff, here is a mind-blowing story in the Baltimore Sun on Friday about the arrest of a pair of Palestinians who have been running a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling scam for years. Because they lived a modest lifestyle and no one knows where all the money went, it’s a good bet it was leaving the country to fund Islamic terrorists around the world (or maybe funding them right here at home!).
We need to thank the NYPD and Commissioner Ray Kelly who unraveled the scheme from the New York end. In Maryland our police are way too busy swatting benign conservative Americans like Terry Porter in rural towns.
And, as is the usual case, there is no mention of the brothers’ immigration status—how did they come to be living legally in America in the first place (assuming they were legal immigrants)?*
From the Baltimore Sun:
The Palestinian immigrant and his brother lived next door to each other in homes in West Ocean City, over the years opening a number of businesses throughout the area — three pizza shops, a Mexican restaurant, a liquor store, gas stations, and development companies, court records show.
This week, however, authorities in New York alleged that Basel, 42, and Samir Ramadan, 39, were also at the top of a multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling ring and said they believe members of the organization may have funneled some of their proceeds to terrorist groups. [Update: Photos of the Palestinian alleged terror funders are here---ed]
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the Ramadan brothers had deposited more than $55 million from their untaxed cigarette sales into small banks in and around Ocean City, making a profit of $10 million along the way.
Only a fraction of the money has been recovered, and the brothers’ lifestyles were described by authorities as modest. That, along with alleged links among some of the members of the ring to known terrorists such as Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric serving a life sentence for a conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks, raised concerns that the money might be funding militant groups.
There is a lot more! Read it all!
LOL! Someone should check to see if they were political donors to O’Malley and the boys!
Just for your information, I write often about food stamp fraud (trafficking) busts at Refugee Resettlement Watch (archive here). The majority of the scams are coming from immigrant-run convenience stores.
* We don’t resettle very many Palestinian refugees (a few in recent years) mostly because the militant Islamists in the Middle East want to leave them right there in their supposed “camps” funded largely by US taxpayers so as to remain a thorn in Israel’s side. I don’t know how Palestinians get into America legally. I do think the food stamp scammers are using the Investor visas we give out like pez candy.