A Detroit physician and his wife were arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint unsealed today for their alleged participation in a conspiracy that involved performing female genital mutilations (FGM) on minors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Detroit Field Office made the announcement.
Fakhruddin Attar, M.D., 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, both of Livonia, Michigan, are charged with conspiring to perform female genital mutilations on minor girls out of Fakhruddin Attar’s medical clinic in Livonia. According to the complaint, some of the minor victims traveled interstate to have the procedure performed. The complaint alleges that the FGM procedure was performed on girls who were approximately six to eight years old.
Both defendants were arrested this morning and are scheduled to appear in federal court in Detroit this afternoon.
The defendants are alleged to have conspired with Jumana Nagarwala, M.D., who was arrested in Detroit on April 12, 2017, and ordered detained on April 17, 2017, pending trial. Nagarwala, Fakhruddin Attar and Farida Attar are believed to be the first people charged under 18 U.S.C. 116, which criminalizes FGM.
A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The FBI’s Detroit Division and HSI investigated the case with the assistance of the Livonia Police Department and with support of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan and the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit, Criminal Investigative Division. Deputy Chief Sara Woodward of the General Crimes Unit of the Eastern District of Michigan, Fraud Section Assistant Chief Nick Surmacz and Trial Attorneys Amy Markopoulos and Malisa Dubal are prosecuting the case.
The FBI’s Detroit Field Division has set up a tip line for anyone who has information pertaining to the illegal practice of FGM or Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, Fakhruddin Attar or Farida Attar at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). To submit an e-tip, please visit FBI.GOV/FGM.