October 14, 2008

Remember This The Next Time You Shop At A Convenience Store In St. Louis

The store owners may be up to some mischief.

Since 2000, the organization has profited from bank and wire fraud, receipt of stolen property and the purchasing and selling of contraband cigarettes, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said.

The group allegedly used couriers who traveled from the United States to the Palestinian territories carrying cash, jewelry, cashiers checks, endorsed and unendorsed personal and business account checks, Hanaway said.

Hanaway said the Hamed organization, led by Bassam Hisham Hamed, 33, of Florissant, Mo., owned and operated convenience stores that were used to receive and sell stolen goods, including infant formula, computers, Global Positioning System devices and cigarettes.

The enterprise allegedly bought the stolen property at rates significantly below fair market retail value and sells the items through the convenience stores at a large profit.

Others indicted include: Ghandi Hisham Hamed 30; Said Jarabaa, 35; Suhail Jarabaa, 28; Mohammed Badwan, 33; Mazen Badwan, 36; Abdelkarim Badwan, 58; Nael Abdeljabbar, 48; Nayef Lutfeyyah, 66; Ayoub Hisham Hamed, 27; Mahmoud Ghannam, 46; Mahir Mohammad, 44; Shahrazad Ramadan, 55; and Rayqa Jarabaa, 58.

Wow. Sending GPS Systems to the Palestinian Territory seems to be more than just low level mob activity. And since the Palestinian Authority (now run by Hamas)undoubtedly gets a cut of any money or "stuff" flowing into their areas, I have a feeling this just isn't some guy sending extra cash back to his mother.

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