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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Man Sentenced To 21 Months In Prison For Kidnapping His Children To Saudi Arabia

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York (“FBI”), announced that FAYCAL TAHIRI was sentenced yesterday to 21 months in prison for international parental kidnapping.  TAHIRI pled guilty on July 17, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who imposed yesterday’s sentence. 

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Faycal Tahiri, a naturalized U.S. citizen and practicing doctor, kidnapped his own children in order to keep them from their mother.  For more than two years, in defiance of court orders from both U.S. and Moroccan courts, he moved from country to country to prevent his young sons from seeing their mother.  We are committed to prosecuting all those who, like Tahiri, unlawfully interfere with a parent’s right to be with her child.”

According to the Superseding Indictment filed against TAHIRI, other court documents publicly filed in this case, and statements made in court proceedings, including yesterday’s sentencing:

Between June 2010 and November 2015, TAHIRI kept his two American-born sons outside of the United States and away from their mother, moving between Morocco, Europe, and Saudi Arabia.  TAHIRI kidnapped his children to Saudi Arabia in December 2012, and lied to the children’s mother, the FBI, the Moroccan authorities, and an American court about the children’s whereabouts.  TAHIRI kept his children out of contact with their mother for approximately two years, and the children were located and returned to the United States thanks to the efforts of their mother and the FBI.  The two boys were eight and ten years old when they reunited with their mother.  

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In addition to the prison term, TAHIRI, 42, of Bay Shore, New York, was sentenced to one year of supervised release.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, and expressed gratitude for the efforts of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force.  

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Catherine Geddes and Danielle R. Sassoon are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
17-410
Updated December 20, 2017