CBP Arrests 3 Albanians in San Juan Attempting to Reach NYC

Release Date:
September 17, 2019

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers arrested three aliens from Albania attempting to board a flight from the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport towards New York on Monday.

On Sep. 16, during pre-boarding inspections authorized by federal law of a flight bound for the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, CBP Officers identified three aliens attempting to board with fraudulent travel documents. The travelers presented fraudulent passports from Hungary and Italy.

The travelers were all referred to secondary inspection, where CBP determined the true identity of the passengers; Xhevdet Peposhi, 27; Fali Peposhi, 35; and Zequir Halilaj, 36; all citizens of Albania.

“Aliens illegally present in the United States as well as criminals seek to use false documents to elude detection from federal authorities,” indicated Edwin Cruz, CBP’s San Juan Area Port Director. “Our officers are trained to detect fraudulent documents and bring imposters to justice.”

CBP Offices arrested the aliens and brought them Sep. 17 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin for an initial appearance, for violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1543, forgery or false use of a passport.

Special Assistant US Attorney Cristina Caraballo in charge of the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico.

If convicted, all defendants face imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or a fine, or both.

Under title 8 CFR 235.5, CBP Officers are authorized to inspect passengers in flights originating from US territories and possessions.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

CBP’s mission is to facilitate travel while maintaining the highest standards of security for those who live here and for those who come to visit. On a typical day last year, CBP officers processed more than 1 million travelers arriving airports, seaports or border crossings.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

Last modified: September 17, 2019