The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested nine Sri Lankans from the special camp for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees at Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli over their alleged involvement in drugs and arms smuggling to revive the LTTE.
The agency said that two of the arrested men were in regular touch with a Pakistan-based drug runner, Haji Salim, who often travelled between Dubai, Pakistan and Iran. These men and Salim were working to revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka and India, the NIA said.
“The arrested men have been identified as C Gunashekharan alias Guna, Pushparajah, Mohammad Asmin, Alahapperumaga Sunil Ghamini Fonseaa, Stanly Kennady, Ladiya Chandrasena, Dhanukka Roshan, Vella Suranka and Thilipan,” a spokesperson for the agency said.
“The case pertains to activities of a Sri Lankan drug mafia controlled by C Gunashekharan and Pushparajah in association with Haji Salim, drug and arms supplier based in Pakistan, which has been operating in India and Sri Lanka in illegal drugs and arms for the revival of LTTE in India and Sri Lanka. This case was registered suo-moto by the NIA on July 8 this year,” the spokesperson said.
The Narcotics Control Bureau had earlier registered a case after law enforcement agencies arrested six Sri Lankan nationals and seized 300 kg of heroin, five AK-47 rifles, and 1,000 live rounds of 9mm ammunition off the coast of Vizhinjam, near Thiruvananthapuram, in March 2021.
Later, the Home Ministry had directed the NIA to book a case after it was found that a scheduled offence under the NIA Act, 2008, was committed by the accused.
Last year, Suresh Rajan, a Sri Lankan national, was arrested from Angamaly near Kochi, in connection with the case from Kerala for his alleged links with Haji Salim. The NIA probe had also unearthed financial transactions worth crores of rupees in Rajan’s name.
“Rajan played a prominent role in the drug and arms trafficking to Sri Lanka through the backyard of India. He was aided by several personnel who were part of the LTTE,” sources had said.