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Minor charge for no-fly Pakistanis

From CNN Producer Kevin Bohn


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two Pakistani men who aroused suspicions after trying to buy one-way airline tickets in cash from Seattle to New York and were later arrested have been charged with illegal entry into the United States, a misdemeanor.

Arif Mahmood's name was found on a Transportation Security Administration "no-fly list" on August 9 when an American Airlines ticket agent was giving him a boarding pass after he had purchased his ticket.

He was arrested later, and admitted he was smuggled into the United States from Canada a few days earlier with no visa, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Also on August 9, Javed Khan tried to buy a one-way ticket on Jet Blue Airlines. A ticket agent noticed he did not have any luggage with him and was carrying only a plastic bag and a jacket, according to a separate criminal complaint filed in court.

After the ticket agent questioned Khan about his travel, Khan walked away from the counter leaving approximately $800, prosecutors said.

After the ticket agent alerted airport police, they approached Khan and determined that he was the subject of an outstanding Canadian immigration warrant, prosecutors said.

He was detained and later admitted he also was smuggled into the United States from Canada a few days earlier.

Sources told CNN the men were seen talking together at the airport.

A government official told CNN both men's backgrounds were thoroughly investigated and the illegal entry was the only charge that could be brought against them.


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