• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

News

Indian man on US extradition warrant arrested in London

Sundar Nagarajan was denied bail and is scheduled to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next week on charges of fraud and money laundering

Photo: iStock

By: Pramod Thomas

As part of a joint UK-US operation against financing terrorism, a person of Indian nationality with address in the UK and Belgium was apprehended in London by Scotland Yard. He was on an extradition warrant from the US.

Sundar Nagarajan, who also goes by Nagarajan Sundar Poongulam Kasiviswanathan Naga and Sundar Poongulam K. Nagarajan Nagarajan, was arrested by the National Extradition Unit of the Metropolitan Police at an address in Hayes, west London.

The 65-year-old, originally from Madurai, was denied bail and is scheduled to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next week on charges of fraud and money laundering as sought by the US authorities.

His arrest followed the Counter Terrorism Command of the Met’s action to detain a 50-year-old man in Wales on suspicion of funding terrorism.

“The ongoing investigation and arrest by the NTFIU (National Terrorist Financing Investigation Unit) relates to suspected terrorist financing and money laundering, which is believed to be connected to wealthy art collector and diamond dealer, Nazem Ahmad,” the Met Police said.

Ahmad is suspected of being a funding source for Hizballah, a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK and US. Sanctions against Ahmad were also announced this week by the UK government alongside the US government sanctions against Ahmad and a number of his suspected associates, including Nagarajan.

“Terrorist groups rely on financial support and funding for their activities and the NTFIU works closely with agencies in the UK and around the world to identify and take action against those people who provide and facilitate this funding,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Gareth Rees, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“With our international partners, we will never give up on our mission to disrupt terrorist activity, both in the UK and abroad, in order to keep the public safe,” he said, adding that the arrests were the result of ongoing work and cooperation with American counterparts as a “key milestone in what is a complex investigation into terrorist financing”.

The Met Police said that searches at two commercial addresses, both in east London, were carried out by officers this week in connection with the investigation. The NTFIU comprises of specialist financial investigators who investigate suspicious financial activity where they believe it may have links to terrorism.

Its action in the case coincided with the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York unsealing a nine-count indictment.

It is alleged that Nazem Ahmad was involved in real estate development, the international trade of diamonds, and the international acquisition and sale of artwork, and operated these enterprises through a complex web of business entities.

(PTI)

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