GREENVILLE, NC – A Yemeni national wanted in New York on visa fraud charges has been arrested in North Carolina.
Abdulrahman Ahmed Abdo al Waeli is expected to appear in federal court in Greenville on Friday.
State Department investigators say al Waeli is among dozens who obtained illegal visas from a foreign worker inside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. According to federal criminal complaints, the men involved in the scheme claimed they were coming to the U.S. for trade shows, but their listed employers don’t exist and they never registered for or attended the shows.
Federal investigators say al Waeli arrived in New York in October 2014 with the stated intention of attending a show in Miami, but he then disappeared. He also listed a Brooklyn address on his customs and immigration forms that wasn’t disclosed on his visa application.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declined to say whether the visa fraud ring has any connection to terrorism. Yemen is home to a branch of al Qaeda that has been accused of at least two terror plots against the U.S. that were stopped.