The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group opposing the Assad regime, claims that an attack in Baniyas, located in the country's north-west, was orchestrated by Israel and targeted a villa in the coastal city.
Nazem Ahmad is alleged to have laundered money using artwork as a smokescreen for criminal activities. Photo: US Department of Justice
An accountant alleged to have acted as right-hand man to accused Hezbollah financier Nazem Ahmad has been extradited to the US, said The National (UAE)
Sundar Nagarajan, 56, was arrested in London at the behest of the American authorities this year on suspicion of fraud and money-laundering offences.
The Indian citizen was detained by the Met Police’s National Extradition Unit, acting on an international arrest warrant, in April.
He was due to face an extradition hearing next year but it has now emerged he has agreed to be extradited to the US.
“I can confirm the requested person was extradited to the USA on December 8,” a Crown Prosecution Service representative told The National.
Mr Ahmad, who has an extensive art collection in Britain and business links with several galleries and auction houses, is one of Hezbollah’s “top donors”, generating funds through his ties to the blood diamond trade, the US alleges.
According to the US Treasury department, Mr Nagarajan acted as the primary international accountant for Mr Ahmad, a Lebanese and Belgian citizen who since 2019 has been under US sanctions, which were extended in 2022.
On the day Mr Nagarajan was arrested, the UK announced additional sanctions on Mr Ahmad. In the US, authorities announced nine charges against Mr Ahmad and eight co-accused, including Mr Nagarajan.
Among the charges Mr Ahmad is facing are defrauding the US and foreign governments, evading sanctions and money laundering.
It is alleged he and others used a complex web of businesses to obtain valuable artwork from US artists and galleries, while hiding Mr Ahmad’s involvement in and benefit from these activities.
About $160 million was siphoned through the US financial system, according to United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The US Treasury further alleges Mr Nagarajan was the central manager of financial ledgers detailing the network’s operations.
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