A 60-year-old Indian man pleaded guilty for his role in a complex, transnational conspiracy to smuggle individuals from India to the United States for profit. A hearing to sentence the accused has been scheduled for April.

The accused was allegedly charge of being a co-conspirator in a human smuggling mafia operating out of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and India.

According to the Justice Department, earlier last month, the accused identified as Yadvinder Singh Bhamba pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and 15 counts of smuggling.

Around 400 individuals were illegally transported to the United States under personal assistance Bhambabetween the time period 2013 and 2015.

General Brian Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney, Justice Department’s Criminal Division added that the accused also oversaw and directed co-conspirators operating out of the Caribbean.

From 2013 to 2016, the people being smuggled from India to the U.S. paid between Rs. 21 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh as the transportation charge.

The Justice Department noted that Yadvinder Bhamba and his co-conspirators employed aged captains and used old, damaged, cracked, unlicensed, overcrowded, and unsafe boats to make the journey.

For the customers from India, the team arranged flights through other countries – including Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Iran, Panama, Venezuela, Belize, and Haiti – to the Dominican Republic, which was used as a staging area, after which they would be transported to the US.

The organisation brought groups of people from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico or Florida by boat and from there they were picked up by co-conspirators and taken to stash houses until flights could be arranged to California, New York, or elsewhere in the United States. They also arranged for fraudulent IDs.

Bhamba was arrested in the Dominican Republic in August 2017. Later he was transferred to Puerto Rico.