Foiled Assassination Plot Unveiled: Indian National Charged with Murder-for-Hire in New York City

Foiled Assassination Plot Unveiled: Indian National Charged with Murder-for-Hire in New York City

November 30, 2023 Off By Sharp Media

In a significant development, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, along with key law enforcement officials, has announced murder-for-hire charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta, also known as “Nick.” This comes in connection with a thwarted plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen in New York City. The details of the case, revealed in a Superseding Indictment unsealed recently, shed light on a complex conspiracy orchestrated by an Indian government employee and involving international narcotics and weapons trafficking.

The alleged plot, directed by an Indian government employee referred to as “CC-1,” targeted an attorney and political activist of Indian origin residing in New York City. The victim, known for advocating the secession of Punjab, a state in northern India with a significant Sikh population, became the focus of this disturbing scheme. The Victim’s vocal criticism of the Indian government and calls for the establishment of Khalistan, a Sikh sovereign state, drew the attention of CC-1, who directed the assassination plot from India.

Nikhil Gupta, residing in India and associated with CC-1, played a pivotal role in the conspiracy. Gupta, who has communicated his involvement in international narcotics and weapons trafficking, was recruited by CC-1 in May 2023 to coordinate the assassination on U.S. soil. CC-1 enlisted the help of a confidential source working with the DEA, leading to Gupta’s engagement with an undercover officer posing as a hitman. Subsequent dealings brokered by Gupta involved an agreement to pay $100,000 to the undercover officer for the murder.

The intricate details of the plot unfolded in June 2023 when CC-1 provided Gupta with the Victim’s personal information, including home address, phone numbers, and day-to-day conduct. Gupta, acting as a liaison, passed this information to the undercover officer, also providing regular updates on the progress of the assassination plan. Interestingly, Gupta instructed the undercover officer not to commit the murder during anticipated engagements between high-level U.S. and Indian government officials.

Tragically, around the same time, on June 18, 2023, gunmen murdered Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an associate of the Victim, outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia, Canada. Gupta later indicated to the undercover officer that Nijjar “was also the target,” citing “so many targets” and asserting the urgency to proceed with the assassination following Nijjar’s murder.

Nikhil Gupta, now facing charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, was arrested by Czech authorities on June 30, 2023, based on the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and the Czech Republic. The seriousness of the charges is emphasized by Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen, who commended the dedicated law enforcement agents for foiling and exposing the dangerous plot.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram highlighted the agency’s role in stopping the brazen act, noting the collaboration with global law enforcement partners. FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith emphasized the realness of the plot, underscoring the excellent teamwork that led to Gupta’s arrest.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the global nature of criminal activities and the vigilance required to thwart such dangerous conspiracies. As the legal proceedings unfold, the Department of Justice emphasizes its commitment to pursuing accountability for overseas plots that pose threats to U.S. citizens on home soil.