Victims of the Dragnet

Rafiq is now in prison, where, according to a relative, his jailers sat by while other inmates beat him. He's awaiting trial on a charge of larceny—due, he said, to a statement he made five years ago in a business dispute. Bail is set at $1 million.

•Pakistani immigrant Mohammad Akoram had just left his Brighton Beach retail-goods store with an acquaintance on Nov. 11 when a car full of FBI and INS agents drove up and arrested his friend. As Akoram started to walk away, the cops put cuffs on him, too, because—as his son recalled—they said he might know something. Not to worry, the FBI agent told the family, he'll be back in a few days. The few days turned into five months. The last time Akoram's children saw him was at the airport a week ago, just before he was deported to Pakistan.

Now Akoram's son and wife are selling their house and their business to go back to Pakistan. "We don't want to, but we have no choice," the son said. "Our father is there, and we want to be with him."

Additional reporting by Gabrielle Jackson, Meritxell Mir and Michael Ridley.
« Previous Page