Boston, MA… A Bosnian national residing in Peabody, Massachusetts has been arrested on charges that he made false statements in applications to the United States for refugee and permanent resident alien status by not revealing his complete military history as required. It is alleged that the defendant was a member of a Bosnian-Serb military unit involved in the genocide of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in the former Yugoslavia in 1995.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Robin M. Avers, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that MARKO BOSKIC, age 40, of Peabody, Massachusetts, was arrested late yesterday on a criminal complaint. BOSKIC is charged with two counts of immigration document fraud.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, it is alleged that BOSKIC, a Bosnian national, is a former member of a Bosnian-Serb military unit involved in the killing of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995. It is alleged that BOSKIC lied about his military involvement to INS to gain admission into the United States.
“The defendant is charged with lying about his military service in a Bosnian Serb military unit which was involved in the genocide of thousands of Bosnian Muslims,” stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan. “Lying to gain safe harbor in the United States undermines the integrity of our immigration policies and will not be tolerated. We continue to aggressively pursue this investigation both here and abroad.”
According to the complaint affidavit, BOSKIC applied for United States refugee status in 1999 while residing in Frankfurt, Germany. When asked whether he had ever been in the military, he responded only that he served in the mandated Yugoslavian military in the early 1980s. As a result of his application, BOSKIC was admitted to the United States in 2000.
In 2001, BOSKIC applied to become a lawful permanent alien in the United States. Similarly, the application requested the applicant’s military history. Again, it is alleged that BOSKIC indicated only his Yugoslavian military service.
“A top priority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is to ensure that our nation’s immigration system is not exploited by those who wish to gain refuge in the United States,” stated ICE Special Agent in Charge Robin Avers.
“This case is a prime example of what can result from cooperative investigative efforts among federal agencies,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Kaiser. “We would like to commend the Peabody Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.”
The complaint alleges that BOSKIC failed to reveal to INS that he had been a member in the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a Bosnian-Serb military unit involved in the genocide of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica in July 1995. According to the complaint, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”), an ad hoc tribunal formed by the United Nations in 1993 to deal with war crimes committed in Yugoslavia, has provided the United States with a video of the 10th Sabotage Detachment at an awards ceremony in the fall of 1995. It is alleged that in the video BOSKIC is clearly visible, in uniform and at attention, holding a rifle.
BOSKIC appeared today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence P. Cohen and voluntarily agreed to remain in federal custody pending trial. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 2:45 p.m. If convicted, BOSKIC faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the two immigration document fraud charges. He would also face possible deportation to his native Bosnia and Herzegovina following the completion of any term of imprisonment.