In a major breakthrough, three men with alleged ties to Ghana have been apprehended in New York City for possessing over 100 illegal firearms.
The individuals, identified as Ahmed “Taju” Mutalib, Abdul Haruna, and Murtala Haruna, all cousins, are facing multiple charges including criminal sale of a firearm, possession of a weapon, conspiracy, and money laundering.
New York Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the arrests on Monday, November 6, 2023, marking the culmination of months-long, high-stakes investigation into an alleged gun trafficking cartel.
The case was initiated following an anonymous tip which led to the discovery of a vast network operating within the city.
The joint operation involving law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of an astonishing cache of illegal arms. A total of 109 firearms and rifles, including 20 assault weapons, were confiscated, along with 139 high-capacity magazines, and a significant amount of ammunition.
Prosecutors assert that Ahmed Mutalib, aged 32 and a resident of Decatur, Georgia, conspired with Abdul Haruna, 27, from the Bronx, and Murtala Haruna, 30, from Cincinnati, Ohio, to smuggle and sell the illegal weapons.
The trio’s connection to Ghana is at the center of the investigation, suggesting potential ties to an international gun trafficking syndicate.
What makes this case even more remarkable is the crucial role a police officer who understands Ghanaian languages played. With the defendants’ phones wiretapped, the officer was able to provide translations of their conversations in Hausa, Ga, and Twi, facilitating the gathering of vital evidence.
Authorities remain committed to dismantling this criminal network and are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The illegal firearms trade continues to pose a serious threat to communities, making such proactive investigations all the more important in safeguarding public safety.
The defendants will now face the full force of the law. This case serves as a sobering reminder of the ongoing battle against illegal firearms and the urgent need for international collaboration in combating transnational organized crime.
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