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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 28, 2019

Tampa Man Arrested And Charged In International Parental Kidnapping Case

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the arrest of Ali Hussein Salamey (37, Tampa) for international parental kidnapping. If convicted, Salamey faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison. Salamey was arrested on a federal complaint on June 21, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia as he exited an international flight.

According to the complaint, in July 2018, Salamey, who has joint citizenship in the United States and Lebanon, fraudulently obtained Lebanese citizenship and a passport for his then three-year-old son without the mother’s knowledge or consent and in violation of a family court order. Salamey obtained Lebanese citizenship and the passport for his child, who was born in and resided in Tampa, by providing the Lebanese consulate with a fraudulent family court document that had been altered by Salamey to show Salamey had sole parental responsibility and custody of the child. 

On August 27, 2018, Salamey and the child left the United States and traveled to Lebanon in violation of a shared custody order. Once he arrived in Lebanon, Salamey denied the mother access to her child. 

As a result of coordination between the FBI, U.S. diplomatic staff in Lebanon, and the Lebanese government, Salamey agreed on June 20, 2019, to return to the United States with the child. Salamey and the child flew from Lebanon through Paris to Atlanta, where Salamey was arrested by the FBI and the child was reunited with his mother.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.

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Updated June 28, 2019