US inspector admits taking bribes to smuggle Indians

Updated on Apr 24, 2004 01:15 PM IST

A federal airport inspector has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to smuggle over 200 Indians illegally into US via a New Jersey airport.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New York

A federal airport inspector has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to smuggle more than 200 Indians illegally into the United States through Liberty airport in New Jersey.

Three Indian 'recruiters' Sudhir Passi, Shripad Shroti and Chetna Pandya along with an American Otis Rackley were arrested in the case in December after a confidential witness told federal agents that Rackley was using his official position at the airport to illegally admit aliens.

Passi has already pleaded guilty of paying bribe to Rackley to obtain documents, which would enable the illegal immigrants to pass through customs.

Inspector Terrence Walden pleaded guilty in US District Court on Friday to taking $4,000 in bribe from a smuggler to allow illegal immigration at the instance of Rackley and split half-half with him. He would be sentenced on August 09 and till then he was released on $50,000 bail.

The racket was busted when Passi and Shroti allegedly approached a passenger to help him sneak into the United States for $4000. But the 'passenger' turned out to be Government informant.

It is alleged that Rackley helped pass the informant through the customs at the Liberty airport.

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