n Indian-American was
stripped of his U.S. citi-
zenship after being sen-
tenced to more than
five years in prison for
conspiring to illegally
distribute male enhancement
pills imported from China.
Ismail Ali Khan, 29, of
Decatur, Georgia, was also convicted and sentenced for falsely
stating that he was not a criminal on his application to become
a naturalized U.S. citizen, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Khan was
among those who illegally
imported pills from China containing an active ingredient in
Viagra and distributed them
throughout the U.S., Patch news
Authorities said he was part
of a criminal export ring that
hatched an elaborate scheme to
import from China to the U.S.
male enhancement pills with
names such as “Maxman” and
Authorities said the ring’s
plot included mislabeling scores
of drugs to evade detection by
the Food and Drug
Administration and U.S.
Customs and Border Protection.
The drugs were labeled as beauty products, pottery, coffee, and
tea, federal prosecutors said.
Khan’s sentence was to be
followed by three years of
supervised release, according to
“This defendant endangered
the health of countless individu-
als by illegally importing and
distributing drugs that can be
obtained in the U.S. only with a
prescription written by a
licensed, medical professional,”
U.S. Attorney John Horn said.
“What’s more, this defendant
became a naturalized U.S. citizen by giving a false statement
to the government about his
criminal history, while he was
engaged in this illicit drug
scheme. “Khan’s willful criminal
pursuit earned him more than a
prison sentence. It cost him his
citizenship and deportation
after prison,” the attorney said.
At the sentencing hearing,
Judge Steve C. Jones ordered
that Khan’s status as a natural-
ized U.S. citizen be revoked and
his certificate of naturalization
was declared void.
He also ordered that Khan be
deported to India once he completes his prison term. At that
time, supervised release will not
Khan filled out an application
in 2013 to become a naturalized
citizen while the drug conspiracy was going on. He became a
naturalized citizen in March
Ex-N.Y. Scribe Jailed in India for Contempt of Court
By Suman Guha Mozumder
he Supreme Court of India
has sent a former New
York journalist to jail in
Prakash Swamy, who lived
and worked in New York for
more than a decade and wrote
for numerous Indian publica-
tions — including once for India
Abroad — was ordered by a three-
judge bench on April 27 to serve
a one-month term in Tihar Jail.
According to Indian newspaper reports, Swamy had filed an
affidavit on behalf of M.G.
Capital Holdings LLC, saying the
New York company wanted to
purchase the New York Plaza
Hotel, owned by the India-based
The court asked him to
deposit $116.8 million with the
SEBI-Sahara Refund Account to
demonstrate the deal was valid.
On April 17, Swamy’s lawyer
conceded that the deposit was
never made, saying there was
difficulty with the transaction.
The court directed seizure of
Swamy’s passport, asking him to
deposit $1.5 million as costs and
to appear in court personally.
According to reports, Swamy
appeared in court April 27 to seek
clemency, saying he was neither
a stakeholder nor a partner in the
New York-based firm. He
claimed, according to a report in
the Pioneer newspaper, that he
had come to the court holding
the power of attorney purely on
basis of his friendship with the
directors of the firm. His counsel
said that if anyone must be held
responsible, it is the New York
company, which had backed out
of the purchase deal.
Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan
Gogoi, and A.K. Sikri ruled that
Swamy was in contempt of court
after failing to deposit the $1.5
million fine as ordered.
The judges said when he filed
an affidavit he should have given
due diligence — that this was not
a small property that he was
offering to buy. “Following your
affidavit, we specially assembled
to pass orders and spent our
time,” the Pioneer report said,
quoting the bench.
“This was not a small case.
You must have known the seri-
ousness of your offer. Now you
have learned your lesson. If we
forgive you, it will send a wrong
signal,” the Pioneer report quot-
ed the judges as saying.
In an email message to India
Abroad, Swamy, 64, wrote a few
days before sentencing that he
had not committed anything
wrong. “I am not a decision-maker at the NYC company but a
mere power of attorney holder of
my friends, but it’s sheer bad
time and cruel fate I am pushed
into,” he wrote.
INDIA ABROAD May 12, 2017 15 INDIAN;AMERICAN AFFAIRS
Worker Shot to Death
man who worked at a
Tennessee motel as a
housekeeper was shot to
death there by a stray bullet
intended for another victim,
Police said Khandu Patel,
56, was standing in the back
of the Americas Best Value
Inn in Memphis, where he
had been staying temporarily
with his wife and two children, according to a
Gunshots rang out just as
he had finished his job at
about 7: 30 p.m. on April 24,
according to his nephew, Jay
Patel. “Next thing you know
he hears some gunshots flying around and one caught
him in the chest,” the
nephew told the news channel.
Patel died before he could
reach the hospital, police
said. Police told several local
media outlets that Patel had
been caught in the crossfire
of a shootout. Police said wit-
nesses know who fired the
shots but were not cooperat-
ing. Memphis police said a
number of suspects sped off
in a new silver Nissan Altima
The local NBC affiliate
WMCA quoted police as saying that the target of the
shooting was someone who
was staying at the hotel.
Another witness told police
there were about 30 gunshots.
Police have offered a
reward for those providing
information on the shooting.
The nephew said his uncle
was preparing to relocate to
nearby Southaven in
Mississippi for another job in
about a week.
“He was ready to get out of
there,” said his nephew.
“Just trying to put food on
the table. So he had to take
what he had at the time.”
Police say shootout’s stray
Indian, U.S., Democracies in Peril
bullet struck him
course you have online media
and some newspapers and other
voices of protest. But with time,
those voices are getting weaker,
and that’s true with every institution.
“The longer an authoritarian
leader rules, the less protest he
faces as he tightens his grip.
Increasingly, the authoritarian
leader, riding his popularity,
would be ever more dismissive
of the media and intellectuals.
But he still will have to abide by
court rulings, and courts will rule
only if people muster up the
courage to file petitions against
the government. In countries
like India, the basic tenets of
democracy cannot be over-
stepped and elections have to be
held,” Banerjee wrote, “And
there would come a time when
voters would want a change.”
Shashi Tharoor, a former U.N.
communications director for the
secretary-general and now an
opposition Congress Party mem-
ber of the Indian Parliament
from Kerala, took a gloomier
view in a recent essay on the his-
torical strength of India’s consti-
tutional promises and protec-
tions that are now under strain
in a rising tide of Hindutva. He
wrote: “The results of the
General Elections 2014, and the
three years of BJP rule that have
followed, with mounting anxi-
eties about intolerance of dissent
and mistreatment of minorities,
have raised legitimate concerns
about the threat posed by those
who do not share the idea of
India I have described. They
believe in a different idea of
India, resting on a narrow
majoritarian definition of Indian-
ness, built on bigotry and exclu-
sion, and intolerant of dissent,
diversity and difference.”
Barbara Crossette, U.N. correspondent for
The Nation and contributing editor for
PassBlue, an online news site on
international topics, was formerly the New
York Times chief correspondent in
Southeast Asa and South Asia, and the
paper’s U.N bureau chief from 1994 to 2001.
Continued from page 6
File photo of Prakash Swamy with
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a
community event at The Pierre in
New York, Nov. 13, 2014.