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Private Passaic County Pilot Convicted Of Smuggling Kilos Of Cocaine In, $7.5M Out

Khamraj Lall
Khamraj Lall Photo Credit: COURTESY: Guyanese Online

Federal jurors convicted a private "cash jet" pilot from Ringwood of bringing hundreds of kilos of cocaine into New Jersey and New York, then laundering more than $7.5 million in proceeds back to Guyana.

Khamraj Lall, 51, of Ringwood “used the proceeds of his cocaine empire” to buy jets, homes and cars, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Friday.

“He also paid more than $2 million in cash stuffed in suitcases to a Florida contractor to build an airplane hangar in Guyana,” Carpenito said.

The Guyanese-born Lall -- who owned a private jet charter business called Exec Jet Club in Gainesville, FL -- already was facing charges in Puerto Rico of carrying $600,000 in drug money during a refueling stop when authorities arrested him in July 2015 with what they said was a five-kilo load.

Carpenito said Lall deposited, or had others deposit, roughly $7,549,775 into more than 20 different bank accounts in cash through 1,287 transactions from April 2011 through November 2014.

All of the deposits were under $10,000 to circumvent federal banking reporting laws, he said.

The government moved to forfeit several properties, as well as two private jets that Carpenito said Lall bought with the ill-gotten gains.

Lall was convicted Thursday of conspiracy, money laundering and other counts following an eight-day trial in U.S. District Court in Trenton.

Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Morristown police, special agents and staff of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Rochester office of the DEA, the FAA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Center.

Handling the case are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan M. Peck and Thomas S. Kearney of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Newark.

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