NEW YORK (WPIX)—Two, retired NYPD terrorism investigators have shown PIX Investigates how terror cells get financial help from scams right here in New York City.
Retired Sgt. Louis Savelli-once a supervisor with the Terrorism Interdiction Unit-carries a counterfeit Coach bag stuffed with coupons and baby formula, when he travels around the country to instruct federal and local law enforcement agencies. Of the baby formula, he says, "They'll buy this wholesale"-often with phony credit-and sell the cans to bodegas at marked-up prices.
"It's a one billion dollar industry," Savelli says. "A lot of the money goes overseas .we believe, to fund terrorism."
Savelli works with retired Detective Al Kuilan, out of his basement office in Brooklyn. Savelli says cigarettes from Virginia, expired milk, and phony gift cards are all big, money-making ventures for the terror supporters. He says the scammers will even re-sell old cheese and crackers in packaging called "white boy".
Savelli showed PIX Investigates a video taken at a Bronx bodega, where most of the cold medicine and aspirin were stolen from a local drug store chain. The bodega was also selling hundreds of crack pipes illegally. Savelli claims about two hundred thousand crack stems are sold every day around the country, in bodegas that sympathize with terrorist causes.