• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

News

Indian man arrested in UK on US extradition warrant denied bail

Nagarajan was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command after action was taken to detain a 50-year-old man in Wales on suspicion of funding terrorism

During his appearance via video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (25), Nagarajan’s lawyer denied the charges of fraud and money laundering against him (Representative Image: iStock)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Sundar Nagarajan, 65, an Indian national with addresses in the UK and Belgium, was arrested by Scotland Yard in London on a US extradition warrant as part of a coordinated UK-US action against terrorism financing.

During his appearance via video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (25), Nagarajan’s lawyer denied the charges of fraud and money laundering against him.

District Judge Briony Clarke was informed that Nagarajan was of a Hindu background and did not support Islamist terrorism. However, the judge refused bail and remanded Nagarajan in custody until his next appearance at the same court on May 23.

Nagarajan, also known as Nagarajan Sundar Poongulam Kasiviswanathan Naga and Sundar Poongulam K Nagarajan Nagarajan, was arrested on April 18 by the Metropolitan Police’s National Extradition Unit from his address in Hayes, west London. The court was told that armed police officers had raided his home to make the arrest and seize his belongings.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), acting on behalf of the US authorities, Nagarajan is an accountant linked to the finances of the designated Hizballah terrorist organisation and is being sought by the US authorities for fraud and money laundering offences.

Nagarajan was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command after action was taken to detain a 50-year-old man in Wales on suspicion of funding terrorism.

The National Terrorist Financing Investigation Unit (NTFIU) is currently conducting an ongoing investigation into suspected terrorist financing and money laundering, believed to be linked to Nazem Ahmad, a wealthy art collector and diamond dealer who is suspected of being a funding source for Hizballah, a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK and the US.

Last week, the UK government announced sanctions against Ahmad and several of his suspected associates, including Nagarajan, while the US government also imposed sanctions against Ahmad and his associates.

A nine-count indictment was unsealed by the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York at the same time as the coordinated UK-US action.

The indictment alleges that Ahmad, a Lebanese resident, and dual Belgian-Lebanese citizen, was involved in real estate development, diamond trading, and the acquisition and sale of artwork through a complex network of business entities.

Ahmad was sanctioned by the US for his alleged financing of Hizballah. Nagarajan was named as one of Ahmad’s associates who used various entities and individuals to conceal Ahmad’s control and interest in financial transactions and companies.

The US authorities also accused Nagarajan of facilitating the purchase of valuable artwork and diamond grading services for millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds from US individuals.

(With inputs from PTI)

Related Stories

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…