Chicago - Chicago Customs and Border Protection officers at O'Hare International Airport Saturday stopped Anis Gulamras Vohora, 39, as he was boarding a flight bound for India. A routine records check indicated that Vohora was the subject of an Interpol lookout. Mr. Vohora was arrested by CBP officers pending confirmation of extradition to the United Kingdom where he faces a four year sentence for the smuggling of cigarettes.
Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs investigators arrested Vohora along with three other men in August 2006 in the United Kingdom where they were accused of seizing almost one million illicit cigarettes and 35 pounds of tobacco. The operation led investigators to a residential house owned by Vohora's business partner, where they uncovered extensive hand written ledgers detailing the organization's purchase and sale of more than 27 million smuggled cigarettes and four tons of hand rolling tobacco between November 2005 and August 2006. The loss of revenue to the United Kingdom is estimated at around six million dollars.
In November, 2007 Vohora failed to appear at his trial and a bench warrant was issued. In October 2008, a British judge found Vohora guilty in abstentia and sentenced him to serve four years in a British prison.
"I applaud our CBP officers in their great enforcement efforts to protect this nation in monitoring and screening both incoming and outgoing flights. This apprehension is the direct result of that vigilance and attention to detail in apprehending Vohora and bringing him to justice," said David Murphy, CBP director of field operations in Chicago, "The close coordination with both our federal and international law enforcement partners was instrumental in the success of this case."
Vohora was turned over by CBP to the U.S. Marshal's Service Monday afternoon for extradition to the United Kingdom. It is unknown at this time if Vohora will be facing additional charges upon return to England.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.