Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.
The Virginia Department of Health says that a passenger with a confirmed case of the measles at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) may have exposed fellow air travelers. The case is said to be unrelated to current measles outbreaks around the country and is instead said to involve a minor who caught the disease while out of the country and sought medical treatment shortly after arriving.
Officials, citing privacy rules, say the flight the victim arrived on and other identifying details about the likely contagious flyer will not be provided to the public. “Out of an abundance of caution,” however, the state agency is attempting to identify travelers who may have been in the airport’s Terminal A and baggage claim areas on Sunday, June 2, between 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected individual,” Virginia Risk Communications Manager Lorrie Andrew-Spear explained in a release. “The Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body. Based on the date of exposure, we have determined that if you were infected with measles, you may develop symptoms as late as June 25, 2019.”
Fortunately, most vaccinated travelers will be immune to the potentially fatal disease. Health officials, however, are urging those who think they may have been infected to call ahead before seeking medical treatment at hospitals or clinics.
The special counsel investigation into Russian government interference in U.S. elections may have stumbled on a crime far worse than foreign agents’ attempts to corrupt democracy. According to court documents unsealed this week, a key witness in the Mueller investigation is accused of having highly disturbing child pornography files on his electronic devices which were seized by federal investigators as part of a search warrant “unrelated to child pornography.” Investigators reviewing the devices on the unrelated matter referred the files to the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.
Justice Department officials say that George Aref Nader, 60, was charged by criminal complaint after he “arrived at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) on Jan. 17, 2018 from Dubai in possession of a cell phone containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.” His arrest this week coincided with the official conclusion of the special counsel investigation.
Nader, described in media accounts as a Lebanese-American businessman, was at the time being investigated in relation to allegations about laundering money from the United Arab Emirates to aid the Trump campaign and his links to a2017 meeting between Trump adviser Erik Prince and an alleged Vladimir Putin representative. Nader is said to be a key witness in the now-concluded Mueller report.
According to the just unsealed court records, Nader was previously convicted of carrying child pornography with him at IAD. He pleaded guilty in 1991 to charges after “two reels of videotape hidden in candy tins” were seized at the airport.
The convicted child pornography devotee who has strong links to at least four of the last five Democrat and Republican White House administrations may have gotten the impression that there are few real consequences for powerful men who abuse the powerless. Based on the affidavits describing the nature of Nader’s alleged crimes (which is definitely NOT recommended reading), it can only be hoped that his arrogance proves entirely unfounded in the case of these latest accusations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents say that the spiritual leader of the La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World) church was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on a number of charges related to human trafficking, child pornography and forcible rape. Church leader Naasón Joaquín García (Joaquín García) and acolytes were taken into custody as part of a joint operation with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents and local law enforcement. ICE agents participating in the takedown indicate that the accused human traffickers and sex offenders may have taken advantage of generous religious exemption EB-4 visa classifications to further their depraved activities.
According to court filings (yet another horrifying read), the leaders of the Mexico-based church used their positions of authority and supposed divinity to coerce at least three children as young as 15-years-old into performing sexual acts. In at least one of the cases, a young girl was allegedly trafficked for the purpose of producing child pornography involving forced rape.
“García and his co-defendants coerced victims into performing sexual acts by telling them that if they went against any of his desires or wishes as ‘the Apostle,’ that they were going against God,” prosecutors assert in a felony complaint, noting that in one of the incidents of abuse, “Defendant Naasón Joaquín García gave them a speech about a king having mistresses and stated that an apostle of God can never be judged for his actions.”
The Light of the World church boasts millions of followers around the world. According to information provided by the organization, the church was founded in Mexico prior to 1926 during a period of religious persecution.
“With respect to the recent false allegations made against the International Director of the Light of the World Church ‘La Luz del Mundo’ Apostle of Jesus Christ, Naasón Joaquín García … the church categorically rejects each and every allegation made against him,” the organization said in a statement released on Tuesday. “We trust in the principles of justice that govern our legal system in the United States and specifically the State of California.”
[Featured Image: Youtube/ Imagen Noticias]