Iranian Who Led Human Smuggling Operation Arrested in Brazil
By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo October 09, 2020
Reza Sahami, an Iranian man wanted for human smuggling and forgery, was arrested in the Brazilian state of Acre, on September 5, as a result of Operation Chacal. According to the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese), Sahami was the leader of an organization that for more than 10 years smuggled individuals from the Middle East, primarily from Iran, to the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.
Sahami is a dual citizen of Iran and Canada. On August 30, law enforcement agents caught him guiding a group of six Iranians attempting to enter Brazilian territory through a route in the Tri-border area that Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia share.
All members of the group, including a child, carried fake passports. Five of those were forged Israeli passports and one was from Denmark. According to Interpol, the passports were on an alert database of stolen or lost travel documents and were altered so that the foreigners intercepted in Brazil could use them.
During Operation Chacal, the PF also arrested an Iranian woman with a fake Canadian passport. Like Sahami, she remains under arrest in Acre while the investigation is ongoing and will be charged with forgery.
At the location the Iranians used as a base in Brazil, agents seized mobile phones, a notebook, various documents, phone chips from different countries, and credit cards under different names.