A defendant who entered a guilty plea in the alleged CW-1 scam case testified yesterday for the U.S. government in the ongoing jury trial of five other defendants in federal court.
Zeaur Rahman Dalu testified he was arrested as part of this CW-1 scam case.
Dalu took the witness stand after Rafiqul Islam, one of the five alleged victims in the scheme, completed his testimony yesterday afternoon.
On trial are TBK Auto Cares owner David Trung Quoc Phan; Phan’s fiancée, Analyn Nunez; Muksedur Rahman; Rahman’s wife, Shahinur Akter; and Rahman’s brother, Md. Rafiqul Islam.
The indictment alleged that Rahman, Md. Rafiqul Islam, and Dalu allegedly recruited alien workers in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for work in the CNMI.
Akter allegedly aided and abetted Rahman’s fraudulent scheme by threatening to falsely report that he had been sexually assaulted by the complaining Bangladeshi workers.
The workers complained about not having provided work, or who asked Rahman to return their money that they paid so they could come and work on Saipan.
Phan was the president of United Brothers, which owns TBK Auto Cares. Nunez was a document preparer for United Brothers.
Dalu testified that after his arrest, he had a discussion with defendant Rahman, but that he could not remember the date.
Dalu said he told Rahman that because of his action, he was in jail.
Dalu said Rahman told him not to worry because he would pay him out and have a lawyer for him.
Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley’s direct examination on Dalu will continue today, Friday, at 8am.
Dalu pleaded guilty last Aug. 7 to two counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting. He has yet to be sentenced.
Alleged victim Rafiqul Islam testified how Dalu recruited him in Bangladesh for a fee on promise that he would be given work in America and a lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. or “green card.”
Islam said he was recruited to work as auto body repairer at $6.05 an hour for United Brothers or TBK Auto Cares.
On cross-examination by defense counsel Bruce Berline, counsel for defendant Md. Rafiqul Islam, witness Rafiqul Islam (same name with defendant) said he paid 450,000 Takas to Ibrahim in Bangladesh so he could come to America.
Islam said he could not remember the last name of Ibrahim although he is his relative.
He said he did not get any receipt for that payment.
Islam said he went to AG Automobile Ltd. in Bangladesh and asked for a certification letter, stating he worked as auto body repairer from April 2009 to the present.
Islam admitted it was false as he never worked in that company.
He said it was the fake certificate that he submitted to the U.S. government.
Islam said at the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, he was asked if he is an auto body repairer but was not asked about his experience for the job.
He admitted he lied to the U.S. Embassy as Dalu told him to do so or else he could not get a visa.
At present, Islam said he is working at G4S as the U.S. government gave him an Employment Authorization Document.
He said his permit is expiring in 15 days.
Islam said he owed a lot of money to people in Bangladesh.
On cross-examination by defense counsel Robert T. Torres, counsel for Rahman, he said it was at the end of December 2014 when Dalu called him in Bangladesh.
He said Dalu promised him that he would be receiving money equivalent to 150,000 Takas per month and get a green card for working in a hotel in America.
Islam admitted that Rahman was never involved in such discussion with Dalu.
Islam said when he received a copy of the employment contract from United Brothers, he told Dalu he does not know this kind of work as auto body repairer.
Regarding payments, Islam said he first paid 50,000 Takas in March 2015; 200,000 Takas in August of 2015; 400,000 Takas in November 2015; 150,000 Takas in January 2016; 388,000 and 450,000 Takas before he coming to Saipan; 30,000 Takas to Simon Service Center fee; 2,500 Takas in fee to fill up a form; and 10,000 Takas in fee to a manpower agency.
Islam said he made the payments to Dalu’s mother and brother, who is a police officer in Bangladesh.
Torres noted that during an interview with Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer Jesse Dubrall on Oct. 19, 2016, Islam stated that the first payment he made was 150,000 Takas that he gave to defendant MD. Rafiqul Islam.
Witness Islam said he does not remember telling that to Dubrall.
Torres also noted that at the same interview with Dubrall, witness Islam stated that he paid 200,000 Takas to defendant Rafiqul Islam.
Witness Islam again stated that does not remember telling that to Dubrall. He said he gave the 200,000 Takas to Dalu’s mother.
Islam said he had a receipt for his payments of 400,000 Takas, 300,000 Takas, and 388,000 Takas.
Islam said when he asked about job on Saipan, Dalu told him to call the police as he does not care.
He said Dalu was not at the airport when he first arrived on Saipan as it was only defendants Rahman and Phan who picked him up.
Islam agreed with Torres that during an interview with HSI special agent Michael Lansangan on June 23, 2017, he stated that Dalu and his mother were responsible for his recruitment.
He said he worked for 21 days at TBK Auto Cares and received $320 as salary.
Islam said Rahman told him that his job was to help him get a job on Saipan.
Islam agreed that he never met Rahman in Bangladesh, but only Dalu.
Islam said he gave the money to Dalu’s mother but also believed that Rahman also got some of the money.
In response to cross-examination by defense counsel Steven Pixley, counsel for Phan, Islam agreed that he never met and paid Phan in Bangladesh.
Pixley showed a employment contract with United Brothers as auto body repairer dated Oct. 29, 2015.
Islam agreed that he had no experience as auto body repairer.
Pixley read a portion of the contract about grounds for termination that includes misrepresentation of the qualifications and skills.
Islam admitted that he misrepresented his qualifications and that he signed the contract in Bangladesh on Oct. 12, 2015.
Islam agreed with Pixley that Phan has the right to terminate him based on his misrepresentation.
On question by defense counsel Janet H. King, counsel for Nunez, Islam said he believes he could get green card by coming and working on Saipan.