• Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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UK extradites Indian man arrested in terror funding case to US

His arrest followed action by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command earlier this year to arrest a 50-year-old man in Wales on suspicion of funding terrorism

Harshkumar Ramanlal Patel has been arrested by authorities from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport – Representative Image:iStock

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

British authorities announced on Tuesday (19) that an Indian man, arrested in London under a provisional American warrant amid a US-UK coordinated operation targeting terrorism financing, has been extradited to the US after consenting to face trial in America.

Madurai-born Sundar Nagarajan, 65, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police’s National Extradition Unit from an address at Hayes in west London on April 18.

The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London at the time that Nagarajan is the accountant linked to the finances of the designated Hizballah terrorist organisation and is a “requested person” (RP) by the US authorities for fraud and money laundering offences.

“The RP was successfully removed to the US on December 8,” the CPS said this week.

Nagarajan, also known as Nagarajan Sundar Poongulam Kasiviswanathan Naga and Sundar Poongulam K Nagarajan Nagarajan and having addresses in the UK and Belgium, had initially challenged his extradition on human rights and dual criminality grounds and an extradition trial was due to begin in London in January 2024.

It is not clear what led to him later consenting to his extradition to face the charges in a US court.

His arrest followed action by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command earlier this year to arrest 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 at the time.

Ahmad is suspected of being a funding source for Hizballah, a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK and US.

Sanctions against Ahmad were announced by the UK government alongside the US government and a number of his suspected associates, including Nagarajan.

(PTI)

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