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October 19, 2020Brasília, BrazilHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

ICE, Brazil Federal Police partnership lead to arrest of human smuggler

BRASILIA, Brazil — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Brazil assists Brazil Federal Police in the capture of a dual Egyptian-Lebanese national for the smuggling of nine Yemenis nationals. The Brazil Federal Police received an anonymous tip on the whereabouts of Hussein Mohamed Sobbih Fatouh and a group of nine Yemeni nationals in the city of Assis Brazil, Acre, on Oct. 11, 2020. ICE HSI verified the identities and previous travel routes of the Yemenis nationals whom, except for one, were previously encountered and enrolled in the ICE Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

“The arrest of Sobbih Fatouh is a major victory,” said ICE Attaché for Brazil and Bolivia Robert Fuentes. “Not only was the human smuggler apprehended, but we were able to identify nine special interest aliens who are a potential threat to our national security. We are grateful to our Brazilian partners for their strong partnership in combating transnational criminal organizations. ICE HSI is committed to disrupting human smuggling networks who undermine our immigration system and put countless individuals at risk while doing so.”

HSI Brazil collaborative investigative efforts with Brazil Federal Police revealed that Sobbih Fatouh, a resident of Brazil, has traveled frequently between Brazil and Peru and is part of a larger Special Interest Alien (SIA) Human Smuggling Organization that operates in Brazil and beyond. Brazil Federal Police and HSI Brazil will continue to investigate and exhaust all leads in furtherance of the binational criminal investigation.

This is a joint Government of Brazil-ICE investigation with significant support from the ICE Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) program and Interpol Brasilia.

The ICE Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) is an initiative that fills biometric databases with data collected from special interest aliens, violent criminals, fugitives and confirmed or suspected terrorists encountered within illicit pathways. This data helps HSI form strategic pictures of the trends, networks and individuals connected with these pathways.