An Indian-origin man has been jailed for three years for smuggling over 800 Indians into the United States using the Uber app. Rajinder Pal Singh admitted that he took in more than $500,000 to bring in hundreds of Indian nationals across the border from Canada.
Singh was involved in organizing over 600 trips that facilitated the illegal smuggling of Indian nationals into the United States. (Photo: Reuters)
Rajinder Pal Singh, also known as Jaspal Gill, a 49-year-old Indian-origin man, has been sentenced to more than three years in jail for smuggling over 800 Indian citizens into the United States using the ride-hailing app Uber.
Singh, a resident of California, pleaded guilty to his involvement in a smuggling ring and admitted to receiving over $500,000 for bringing in hundreds of Indian nationals from Canada.
The sentencing took place in a US District Court, where Singh received a 45-month prison term for his participation in Conspiracy to Transport and Harbor Certain Aliens for Profit and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.
Acting US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman highlighted that over a four-year period, Singh arranged the smuggling of more than 800 individuals into the US, posing security risks and subjecting them to dangers during the lengthy smuggling route.
Gorman further emphasized that Singh exploited the hopes of Indian nationals for a better life in the US while burdening them with substantial debts of up to $70,000.
According to the press release and case records, starting from July 2018, Rajinder Pal Singh and his co-conspirators utilized Uber to transport individuals who had illegally crossed the Canadian border to the Seattle area.
Over the period of mid-2018 to May 2022, Singh organized more than 600 trips involving the transportation of illegally smuggled Indian nationals into the US. The investigation estimates that the 17 Uber accounts associated with the smuggling ring incurred charges exceeding $80,000 between July 2018 and April 2022.
The co-conspirators would use one-way vehicle rentals to transport the smuggled individuals to their final destinations outside Washington state, often in the early hours of the day and divided among multiple rides.
The smuggling ring also employed sophisticated methods to launder the illicit proceeds, with Singh admitting in the plea agreement that the purpose was to obscure the illegal nature of the funds.
During the investigation, authorities discovered approximately $45,000 in cash and counterfeit identity documents at one of Singh’s residences in California. It was mentioned in the press release that Singh, who is unlawfully present in the US, is likely to face deportation following his prison sentence.