Five local men indicted in international theft ring

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — An international stolen-goods ring involving five local men was shut down by federal law enforcement agents in November, according to recently unsealed court documents.

Sadek Mohamad Koumaiha, Mohamad Kassem Sibai, Hassan Mahmoud Koumaiha, and Ali-Ibrahim El Sayed Abdallah were named along with three other men in a 33-count indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They are accused of buying purportedly stolen goods over a series of transactions with an undercover FBI agent in Philadelphia from January 2007 until mid-November.

Authorities allege they purchased cell phones, laptops computers, PlayStation 2 consoles, and counterfeit name-brand merchandise, then distributed the products to a broad list of destinations – Detroit, Los Angeles, Dubai, Lebanon, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Paraguay, to name a few. They are also charged with conducting an illegal money transmitting business.

The men must forfeit roughly $1.4 million in cash, numerous vehicles and much of the merchandise they purchased. Authorities also have seized assets from two Dearborn businesses, Mega Wholesalers and ELS Wireless. State business records list Hassan Koumaiha and Sibai as the presidents of the respective companies.

Hassan Koumaiha also was charged in a related case with conspiring to transport stolen goods to a Lebanese man with suspected Islamic fundamentalist ties (see related story).