NEW YORK, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Prosecutors said a New York man has been charged with conspiring to kill two family members in a dispute over the arranged marriage of his daughter in Pakistan.
Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry was arrested Thursday on charges of conspiring to commit murder in a foreign county, transmitting threats via interstate communications and visa fraud, federal officials said in a news release.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch — along with officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Homeland Security Investigations; and the U.S. State Department — said court filings indicate Choudhry directed that his daughter, Amina Ajmal, a U.S. citizen, be held against her will for three years in Pakistan.
She was forced to marry a Pakistani national so he could get a U.S. visa, prosecutors said.
“Ajmal eventually escaped Pakistan and returned to the United States with the assistance of a cousin and U.S. State Department officials,” the release said. “During subsequent recorded telephone calls between Ajmal and Choudhry, the defendant threatened to orchestrate the murder of Ajmal’s cousin if Ajmal, whose whereabouts remained unknown to the defendant, did not return immediately to the family home in Brooklyn.”
After Ajmal refused to return in February, her cousin’s father and sister were shot and killed in Pakistan, authorities said.
“According to an eyewitness, Choudhry’s brother was observed standing over the victims, holding a gun and desecrating the bodies,” the statement said. “Agents from HSI and the Diplomatic Security Service placed Choudhry under arrest in Brooklyn later that same day.”
Lynch said Choudhry “viewed his daughter as a commodity to be bartered.”