NY papers refer to alleged arms dealer as Malaysian

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 19 Aug 2003

by johan fernandez

NEW YORK: How did Indian national Moinuddeen Ahmad Hameed, who was allegedly involved in an arms deal to smuggle Russian shoulder-fired missiles into the United States for sale to terrorists, become a Malaysian? 

All major newspapers in New York described Moinuddeen as a Malaysian.  

The New York Times in one report described him as a 38-year-old citizen of India who arrived in New York on Tuesday from Malaysia but in another report in the same paper the suspect was referred to as “Moinuddeen of Malaysia.”  

The New York Post referred to him as a Malaysian national, as did Newsday and Daily News.  

The Malaysian Consul-General’s office here, on learning about the reports, checked with the FBI and was told that he was an Indian national and had an Indian passport. 

The officer told the Malaysian officials, however, that Moinuddeen had a Malaysian cell phone and home.  

He was not able to give further details as the investigation was in progress. 

Consulate officials learnt that Moinuddeen had arrived at Newark airport on a MAS flight on Aug 12. 

Malaysian officials here are confused why he was referred to as a Malaysian and why all major newspapers reported it as such. The matter has been referred to Wisma Putra. 

On Wednesday, arms dealer Hermant Lakhani, a Briton born in India and living in northern London, was charged in court with trying to provide material support to terrorists and trying to sell arms without a licence.  

Also charged were Moinuddeen and Yehuda Abraham, a 76-year-old jewellery dealer said to have been enlisted by Lakhani to help in the financial arrangements for the arms deal. 

Both were charged with conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business but not with terrorism-related offences. 

Abraham and Moinuddeen were said to be helping to launder the US$500,000 (RM1.9mil) downpayment for the 50 missiles.  

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