|US deports Singaporean criminal who planned deadly arms shipment to terrorists
A Singaporean arms dealer who was convicted and jailed following a sting in the US during which he attempted to purchase deadly weapons for Sri Lanka's now vanquished Tamil Tigers terrorist group, has been deported to the island.
Balraj Naidu Ragavan, 51, was escorted back to Singapore by officers of the US Customs Enforcement and Removal Field Office. The office said in a statement last week he was "convicted in 2010 of supporting terrorists in Sri Lanka with weapons.''
Ragavan served four years in jail for negotiating with undercover agents to buy a deadly arsenal worth US$900,000. These included grenade launchers, sniper rifles and machine guns.
One of his sidekicks involved in the deal was also a Singaporean named Haniffa Osman.
Osman visited Baltimore in the summer of 2006, where he examined and test-fired much of the weaponry. As a result of the trip, Tamil Tiger representatives wire transferred US$250,000 into the undercover business' accounts as a down payment on a US$900,000 weapons deal. About 28 tons of weapons and ammunition, which the conspirators believed they were purchasing, was airlifted to the US territory of Guam.
On September 29, 2006, after inspecting the weapons and transferring an additional US$450,000 into the undercover business' accounts, Naidu's four co-conspirators were arrested and indicted. The investigation continued and led to the indictment of Naidu and an alleged Tamil Tigers financier on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers and related offenses, US Customs said.
Naidu was extradited into the United States from Singapore December 18, 2009 so he could be criminally prosecuted for conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, money laundering, attempted export of firearms and munitions, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He was convicted in the District of Maryland December 16, 2010 for Conspiracy to Violate the Arms Export Control Act and sentenced to 57 months in federal prison.