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Sunday, February 5, 2023

DMK corporator caught smuggling ‘substance’ to Sri Lanka, media hurries to cover up

Two DMK men have been arrested for trying to smuggle Rs 360 crore worth of drugs to Sri Lanka from Rameshwaram. Jainudeen and Sabras Nawaz, the DMK men, reportedly smuggled the drug concealed in water cans from Gujarat. Even though initially it was reported that it was cocaine that they smuggled, now there are claims that it was only fertilizers.

On November 28, during their regular petrol run on the beach road near Vethalai in Ramanathapuram, the Coastal Security Group’s team came across a luxury car. When they stopped and inspected its passengers and contents, they found 30 water cans of 25-liter capacity filled with some white colour powdered substance. Upon inquiry, they were told that they were transporting fertilizers.

Initially, media reports said that it was a drug worth Rs 360 crore, and the two men were going to smuggle it to Sri Lanka on a country boat. They also found that the drug was smuggled from Gujarat on the pretext of transporting fertilizers. Some media reports said it is the base substance from which drugs are derived and worth hundreds of crores.

Jainudeen was the Vice President of Keezhakarai Municipality, and his brother Sarfraz Nawaz is a councilor. As their arrest information got out, DMK pliant media scurried to cover it up as an incident of “DMK councilor smuggling fertilizers worth Rs 50 lakh”. Now DMK sympathisers are sharing a media statement allegedly issued by the Coastal Security Group which is a unit of TN police. The statement has no official-looking signs like letterheads or seals and is signed by the SP of Coastal Security Group in Ramanathapuram.

The statement says that the possibility of the substance weighing 394kgs, hidden in the jerrycans, being any drug, was ruled out. The men were trying to send “bio-fertilizer” to Sri Lanka as it fetches a very high price, it says. The Sri Lankan government had earlier banned fertilizer import during its dalliance with 100% organic farming. But the ban was revoked on November 20. With the ban revoked, smuggling fertilizer to the country doesn’t seem logical, as fertilizers aren’t that costly, to begin with, even considering the fact that Sri Lankan economy is reeling under inflation.

Initially, even as the news of smuggling unfolded, DMK pliant media tried to cover up the issue by reporting that fertilizer worth Rs 50 lakh was recovered. Now other reports say that it is worth a mere Rs 5 lakh. A simple google search shows that the maximum price of any fertilizer would be Rs 500 in Bharat. In that case, the worth of 394kg of fertilizer should come to around Rs 2 lakh. Such details raise suspicion about the smuggling incident.

In the Coimbatore cylinder bomb blast case, TN police, at the behest of the DMK government, had tried their best to suppress the terror link by repeatedly calling it a “cylinder blast”. Ruling DMK’s ministers and leaders also maintained the same line. One even went as far as to say that Jamesha Mubin could have purchased the Ammonium Nitrate seized from his house for agricultural purposes. So describing the seized substance as “fertilizer” appears to be a damage control measure.

The Coastal Security group’s statement says it was handed over to the customs officials, and DMK sympathisers bank on that to strengthen their argument. Conspiracy theories aside, it is a well-known fact that state police departments are prone to buckle down to arm-twisting state governments and the DMK government has been one since assuming power.

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  1. What a mechanism indeed!
    The thing is what a consignment of 394kg of fertilizer will do to Sri Lanka. Provided it is a bio-fertilizer, it is not enough even for a medium sized agricultural farm. And how much money a dispatch of 394 kg bio-fertilizer could bring– less than Rs.200, 000 (INR). Is not it?


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