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naturalized US citizen from India extradited to US to face charges | USAO-NJ

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CAMDEN, NJ A naturalized US citizen living in India who was arrested in England first appeared in court and was arraigned today following his extradition to face charges of obstructing rights parenting of the mother of her child by kidnapping the child and not returning it to the United States when ordered to do so, said Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig.

Amitkumar Kanubhai Patel, 38, of Vadodara, India, formerly of Edison, New Jersey, has been charged in an indictment that was unsealed today with one count of international parental abduction. A federal grand jury sitting in Camden rendered the indictment on July 22, 2020. On September 9, 2021, Patel was extradited from England. He appeared by video conference before US investigating judge Karen M. William in Federal Court in Camden and was taken into custody.

According to the documents filed in this case and the statements made in court:

The child’s mother, a resident of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Patel were in a relationship and lived together in New Jersey from August 2015 to July 2017. They never married. In November 2016, they had a child.

According to the mother, Patel wanted to take the child to India to present him to Patel’s parents and get DNA tests. Patel claimed DNA testing was needed for the child to claim ownership of the Patels family in India. Patel attempted to obtain an Indian visa for the child when the child was about four months old. The visa application was refused because Patel did not have documents proving his custody rights over the child.

Patel told the child’s mother that in order to get an Indian visa for the child, he would need to get sole custody of their son, which required him to go to court. Patel asked the child’s mother to tell the court that they had a mutual agreement regarding custody of their child. He asked the mother to state that she did not have a work permit and was unemployed and could not care for her child.

On May 1, 2017, Patel went to New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division Family Court, to obtain sole custody of the child. According to the mother of the child, the majority of the hearing was conducted in English without a translator. At the time of the hearing, the child’s mother spoke limited English. The mother responded to court questions as instructed by Patel. She was not represented by a lawyer at the hearing.

On May 2, 2017, the court issued an order granting Patel sole legal custody of the minor child and allowing the mother to seek joint legal custody in the future. After receiving the court order, Patel obtained visas to India for himself and the child through Quick Travel Inc. Patel told the child’s mother that the trip to India would last two weeks. On July 26, 2017, Patel and the child traveled to India.

According to the mother of the child, she sent several messages to Patel asking her to confirm that the two had arrived in India and received no response for several days. Patel eventually called the mother and told her he would never bring the child back to the United States. The child’s mother obtained legal advice, returned to New Jersey Superior Court, and on October 16, 2018, the court ordered Patel to immediately return the child to the United States. Records show Patel and the child have not returned to the United States since July 2017.

On October 2, 2020, Patel and the child flew from India to the United Kingdom, where Patel was arrested.

The international count of parental abductions carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $ 250,000.

Acting US Attorney Honig has assigned the FBI Special Agents, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley S. Benavides in Philadelphia, the investigation that led to the indictment. Acting US Prosecutor Honig also thanked members of the Department of Justice’s Office for International Affairs, the UK Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police for their assistance in the extradition.

The government is represented by Assistant US Attorney Andrew Carey and Assistant US Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office in Camden.

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2/ https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/naturalized-us-citizen-india-extradited-united-states-face-charges

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