Singapore Reform Party co-founder to be extradited to US on suspected terrorism charges
A Singaporean wanted in the United States on six terrorism-related charges submitted himself on Monday to prison authorities in Singapore to await extradition. The Singapore Law Minister has ordered Mr. Balldev Naidu to be surrendered to the US authorities.
This is an unusual surrender of sovreignity for Singapore to extradite one of its own citizens to a foreign country.
Singapore District Judge Roy Neighbour ordered Naidu, 47, to be taken into custody after he ruled there was sufficient evidence for Naidu to answer to the charges he faces in the American courts.
Naidu, who is one of the founding members of Singapore’s Reform Party, an opposition party, recently changed his name from Balraj Naidu to Balldev Naidu last year, possibly to escape detection.
Naidu is wanted by the US government for allegedly conspiring to possess firearms, conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, and money laundering, among other charges.
Naidu is alleged to have conspired with another Singaporean, Haniffa Osman, now behind bars in a US prison, for trying to buy weapons in the United States, supposedly for the Sri Lankan rebel group, the Tamil Tigers.
Naidu is said to have acted as a broker and middleman between firearm manufacturers and purchasers and/or end-users. Although allegedly the “end-users” were the Tamil Tigers, the seriousness of extradition might indicate Naidu was dealing with terrorist directly groups which threaten the security of the U.S.
Police authorities learned that Naidu had located his source of the firearms through Indonesia, an Islamic country, and conspired to export them illegally from the United States to Sri Lanka. There is evidence that Naidu had traveled to Hong Kong and Jakarta, and he was in it for the money, as well, as he would receive a commission for his role.
Reform Party Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam has expressed strong support for Naidu.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam, a Tamil and former “hedge fund manager” working in London, recently took over the party founded by his father, the late J B Jeyaretnam and Naidu.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam stated that the party will “stand behind” Naidu, and “The Balldev I have come to know, since taking over leadership of The Reform Party, is a gentle family man and someone who would never intentionally become involved with terrorists or arms dealers…Balldev was a loyal supporter of my father, JB Jeyaretnam and I will continue to support him in my personal capacity.”
Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s brother, Philip, is a writer of gay books, and works in Singapore as a lawyer.
Singapore’s reputation has suffered since the escape of alleged terrorist Mas Selamat, leader of the country’s Jemaah Islamiah (JI), from the country’s highest security prison.
According to Singapore authorities, Mas Selamat “escaped” through a bathroom window. He then walked, apparently in prison garb, through the streets of Singapore, as the police put out an all-points alert. Mas Selamat reached the northern shore of Singapore and swam to Malaysia.
Eventually, he was captured by the Malaysian police. Singapore’s demand for the return of Mas Selamat was turned down by Malaysia, out of fears that he would “escape” again. One must ask – does Malaysia suspect that Mas Selamat sent by Singapore to Malaysia for some ulterior motive?
Singapore has long been a haven for terrorists and criminals, especially from neighboring countries. Conveniently, Singapore does not have extradition treaties with its neighbors.
Liem Tek Siong, alias Sjamsul Nursalim, alias Liem Tjoen Ho, fled to Singapore from Indonesia, owing $2.8 billion due to the collapse of his Indonesian, bank. The Chung Shih Ping family fled to Singapore from Brunei as two family members were detained in Brunei for corruption. The list goes on.
The CIA World Factbook states, that 14.9% of Singaporeans are Muslim and that “Singapore is vulnerable, despite strict laws and enforcement, as a venue for money laundering.” And more!