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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Drugs, AK-47s recovered from Lankan boat linked to LTTE syndicate in TN

The elite Q branch of the Tamil Nadu Police has conducted searches in several pockets that were involved in the recent drug haul in which Sri Lankan Tamils were arrested. During the probe, it was found that the drug syndicate was used to finance LTTE activities, sources said.

Drugs worth Rs 3,000 crore, five AK 47 assault rifles, and 1,000 9mm bullets were recovered from the boat that was apprehended near the Tamil Nadu coast. The searches were conducted on Friday and Saturday, sources said.

It may be recalled that the Coast Guard had intercepted a Sri Lankan shipping vessel, ‘Ravihansi’ in the Arabian sea. The investigation had led to the arrest of Sri Lankan nationals, Suresh Raj and his accomplice Soundararajan.

The arrest of Suresh Raj, who was staying at Aluva in Kerala for the past several years under the guise of an exporter, has given several inputs to the central intelligence agencies as well as the Q branch of the Tamil Nadu Police.

The arrested, according to police sources, had said that there were certain pockets in Tamil Nadu where they got support and necessary logistics for the supply of drugs. They have also revealed that the drug syndicate was used to finance LTTE activities that were dormant in the state.

Immediately after the arrest and interrogation of the duo, the NIA sleuths and the Q branch found that a Pakistani national was closely associated with the fugitives. The gang, which was operational from 2018, had been collecting funds from various countries abroad and transferring it to the hawala accounts in Dubai.

The Q branch have conducted searches in the residences and offices of certain individuals and organisations who were supportive of the cause. Certain individuals had, according to the agencies, recorded video and audio of calls for fighting against the Sri Lankan Army on behalf of LTTE.

The preliminary study of the social media accounts of the arrested had given the agencies the lead that they were in direct touch with the convicted cadres of LTTE and were coordinating with them.

Sources in the state police told IANS that the searches have not led to an arrest but the Q Branch has identified the locations in the state where support was received by the arrested Suresh Raj and his accomplices.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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