Indian citizen arrested in London for funding Hezbollah, faces extradition

Indian citizen arrested in London for funding Hezbollah, faces extradition

An Indian citizen has been arrested in Britain by Scotland Yard for allegedly funding the banned terrorist outfit Hezbollah. The nabbed individual has been identified as 66-year-old Sundar Nagarajan and hailed from Madurai, a district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

According to a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, Nagarajan, also known as Kasiviswanathan Naga and Nagarajan Sundar Poongulam was presented before the court where he was denied bail.

"Sundar Nagarajan, (27.08.57) of Hayes UB3, was taken into police custody before appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court this afternoon for commencement of extradition proceedings," read the statement, adding that he is scheduled to appear for the next court hearing on April 25.

Nagarajan was arrested in West London by the officers from the National Extradition Unit, following an international arrest warrant. He could be extradited to the US where he faces charges of laundering money and supplying it to Hezbollah.

His arrest came hot on the heels of Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arresting one Nazem Ahmad - a wealthy art collector, accused of terrorist financing and money laundering. According to reports, Nagarajan was Ahmad's international accountant and used numerous companies as a front to launder money for the terror organisation.

"Today's arrests are the result of ongoing work and cooperation with our American colleagues, and are a key milestone in what is a complex investigation into terrorist financing," 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 added. 

What is Hezbollah?

Notably, Hezbollah is a Shia terror outfit, majorly operating in Lebanon, backed by Iran which the Conservative government in the UK classified as a terrorist organisation in 2019. 

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The group came into existence during the 15-year Lebanese Civil War and has been waging a war against Israel. Meanwhile, the Western nations do not have any particular affinity towards Hezbollah either. 

Apart from the UK, Hezbollah has been proscribed in Canada, Germany, Britain, Argentina, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait.

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