Indian-Origin Man Sentenced to 45 Months for Smuggling 800 People into US via Uber

A man of Indian origin has been sentenced to over 3 years in prison for smuggling over 800 Indian nationals into the US.
Indian-Origin Man Sentenced to 45 Months for Smuggling 800 People into US via Uber

A 49-year-old Indian-origin man, Rajinder Pal Singh, also known as Jaspal Gill, has been sentenced to over three years in prison for orchestrating the smuggling of more than 800 Indian citizens into the United States using the ride-hailing app Uber. Singh, a California resident, pleaded guilty in February, confessing his role as a key member of a smuggling ring that profited over half a million dollars from these illegal activities, according to the US Department of Justice.

Acting US Attorney Tessa M Gorman stated that Singh's sentence includes "45 months in prison for Conspiracy to Transport and Harbor Certain Aliens for Profit and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering." Over a four-year period, Singh organized the smuggling of more than 800 individuals across the northern border from Canada into Washington State, putting not only the state's security at risk but also subjecting the smuggled individuals to dangerous conditions during the lengthy smuggling route from India to the US.

Gorman emphasized the detrimental impact of Singh's actions, highlighting how his participation in the conspiracy exploited the hopes of Indian nationals seeking a better life in the US, while burdening them with a staggering debt of up to USD 70,000. Singh and his co-conspirators utilized Uber to transport people who had illegally crossed the border from Canada to the Seattle area starting from July 2018 until May 2022, as revealed by records filed in the case.

During the aforementioned period, Singh arranged more than 600 trips involving the transportation of Indian nationals who had been smuggled into the US. It is estimated that the 17 Uber accounts linked to the smuggling ring accrued over USD 80,000 in charges between July 2018 and April 2022. Singh's co-conspirators used one-way vehicle rentals to transport the smuggled individuals to their final destinations outside Washington state, with these trips often commencing in the early hours near the border and involving multiple rides.

The smuggling ring employed sophisticated methods to launder the illegal proceeds. Singh admitted in the plea agreement that the complex money movement was intended to obscure the illicit nature of the funds. Furthermore, investigators discovered approximately USD 45,000 in cash and counterfeit identity documents at one of Singh's residences in California.

As Singh is not legally present in the US, he is likely to face deportation after serving his prison term. The case sheds light on the abuse of technology platforms like Uber, highlighting the need for robust measures to combat human smuggling and protect national security.


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