Singapore man deported from US in LTTE arms plot

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 00:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

An Indian-origin Singaporean has been deported home from the US, after he had completed a jail term for offences related to trying to buy arms worth $ 900,000 for outlawed separatist group LTTE. Balraj Naidu Ragavan, 51, returned to Singapore on 16 December after serving almost four years in a US prison, The Straits Times reported. “As a convicted felon, Naidu is prohibited from re-entering the United States,” US Customs Enforcement and Removal Field Office director Simona L. Flores, said in a statement. The businessman was extradited four years ago to face several charges in the US, including conspiring to export arms to the Tamil Tigers. In April 2006, on being introduced to a US undercover agent, Naidu negotiated to buy weapons worth $ 900,000, including grenade launchers, sniper rifles and machine guns. One of his co-conspirators, Haniffa Osman, test fired several of the weapons in the summer of 2006 in Baltimore. About 28 tons of weapons and ammunition were airlifted to the island of Guam. Haniffa, a 62-year-old Singaporean, has completed a 37-month jail sentence and testified in Naidu’s trial in 2010 before returning to Singapore. The plan had been to offload the US-made weapons in international waters off the Sri Lankan coast, so that they could be picked up by the LTTE. But the conspirators, which included two Indonesians and a Sri Lankan, were arrested after inspecting the arms and transferring a further $ 450,000.