N.Y. Officials: Smuggling Ring Has Terror Links - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

N.Y. Officials: Smuggling Ring Has Terror Links

Posted: Updated:
Basel Ramadan Basel Ramadan
Samir Ramadan Samir Ramadan

NEW YORK (WBOC/AP)- Authorities say some of the suspects charged in a Virginia-to-New York cigarette smuggling scheme have links to top officials of Hamas, the Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip.
 
New York law enforcers outlined the alleged terror links Thursday while announcing that 15 of the 16 people they believe are involved have been arrested charged in the smuggling case.
 
"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," said New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

While authorities said it has not been established yet where the illicit proceeds ended up, they noted that similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations like Hamas. The United States and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Two of the smuggling defendants, 42-year-old Basel Ramadan and his brother, 40-year-old Samir Ramadan, both of Ocean City, Md., are being held without bond at the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Md. According to investigators, Basel Ramadan was the ringleader of the operation. Prosecutors alleged that he and Samir Ramadan furthered the criminal enterprise by depositing more than $55 million from their untaxed cigarette sales into small local financial institutions in and around Ocean City, and used that money to purchase additional cigarettes for illegal sale.

Maryland court records show the Ramadan brothers were taken into custody Wednesday. Their arrests followed the execution of search warrants at their homes on the 12000 block of Whisper Terrace in West Ocean City as well as a Subway restaurant they owned on North Philadelphia Avenue in Ocean City.

Each of the defendants arrested in the alleged scheme face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted, authorities said. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gold Alert Issued for Missing Laurel Man

    Gold Alert Issued for Missing Laurel Man

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:15:54 GMT
    Delaware State Police have issued a Gold Alert for a Laurel man reported as missing.More
    Delaware State Police have issued a Gold Alert for a Laurel man reported as missing. More
  • Keep WBOC and FOX21 on DIRECTV

    Keep WBOC and FOX21 on DIRECTV

    Attention DIRECTV customers: Despite WBOC’s and FOX 21’s best efforts to stay on DIRECTV, after July 31, you may no longer see your favorite programming live on DIRECTV. Call DIRECTV at 1-800-531-5000 and tell DIRECTV if it drops WBOC and FOX 21, you will drop DIRECTV.More
    Attention DIRECTV customers: Despite WBOC’s and FOX21’s best efforts to stay on DIRECTV, after July 31, you may no longer see your favorite programming live on DIRECTV. Call DIRECTV at 1-800-531-5000 and tell DIRECTV if it drops WBOC and FOX21, you will drop DIRECTV.
    More
  • Dover Traffic Stop Leads to Two Arrests

    Dover Traffic Stop Leads to Two Arrests

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:30:42 GMT
    One man was arrested on drug distribution charges and his driver charged with numerous traffic offenses following a high speed pursuit through Dover on Tuesday, according to police.More
    One man was arrested on drug distribution charges and his driver charged with numerous traffic offenses following a high speed pursuit through Dover on Tuesday, according to police.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service