News Release
March 17, 2010
Donald Caetano
Public Affairs Officer
212 337-1266

International Trade-Based Money Laundering Organization Wiped Out By DEA

MAR 17 -- DEA and other law enforcement partners nab nine defendants under Operation Green Wave. (Brooklyn, NY) - JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (DEA), BENTON J. CAMPBELL, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Joseph M. Demarest, Jr. (FBI), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD) announced the arrests of WADIE JAAFAR, HUSSEN ALI CHAHINE, a/k/a “Hussein”, AYMAN JAAFAR, a/k/a “Mohammad” and “Abu Jameel”, HAIDAR AYOUB, HASSAN ALI HAMDAN, ALI ATA SALEH, and MAHDI TALEEB on charges relating to their roles in a conspiracy to launder the proceeds from the sales of counterfeit goods. The arrests are part of Operation Green Wave, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation with DEA NYFD, working jointly with the FBI, ICE, NYPD, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

DEA Special-Agent-in-Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE stated, “For nearly two years, this organization utilized a complex form of trade- based money laundering, counterfeit goods and narcotics trafficking as its lifeblood. This organization undermined legitimate manufacturing companies, while exploiting New York and international financial institutions in an attempt to hide the source and destination of their illicit proceeds. Although complex, this scheme was unearthed and subsequently unraveled by the DEA in conjunction with our law enforcement counterparts.”

“Counterfeiters cost legitimate businesses billions in lost revenue. In some cases the illicit proceeds are used to support other criminal activities,” said James T. Hayes, Jr., Special-Agent-in-Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New York. “ICE and its federal partners are working together to keep billions of dollars of illicit funds out of the hands of organized criminal groups here and abroad.”

United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is taking the prosecution lead, with the civil division assisting in the account seizures. Several highlights of the investigation include a bank account seizure of $181,000. This account was utilized to pass through approximately $5.5 million over a period of 11 months from January to November 2009. In addition, approximately $100,000 in bulk cash was seized, along with more than $1.3 million in counterfeit goods seized. Wiretaps revealed coconspirators each transporting cash and other monetary instruments from New York to Lebanon just under the reporting requirement. Wiretaps revealed coconspirators discussing the export of bulk cash allegedly derived from illicit activity and the structuring of the illicit proceeds.