Four Alleged Smugglers Charged For Importing Banned Catfish Into The United States
(STL.News) Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Timothy Donovan, Assistant Director of the Northeast Division, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), Office of Law Enforcement (“OLE”), and Bethanne M. Dinkins, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA-OIG”), announced the unsealing today of a Complaint charging MAHMUD CHOWDHURY, a/k/a “Masum Chowdhury,” a/k/a “Uncle Masum,” SHAKIL AHMED, BELAYET HUSSAIN, a/k/a “Belayet Sohel,” and FIROZ AHAMMAD with participating in a conspiracy to smuggle banned catfish into the United States through the Southern District of New York. All four defendants were taken into custody today and will be presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, food safety for U.S. consumers was seriously compromised by these defendants, who disguised their importation and distribution of dangerous fish and fish products. Thankfully, investigators with HSI, NOAA, and USDA-OIG detected something fishy and reeled in the defendants, who now face serious federal charges.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C.