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Smuggling of essentials to Lanka: TN coastal police on high alert

- June 13, 2022

Chennai, June 13 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu coastal police are on high alert after intelligence reports of a possibility of smuggling of essential commodities to Sri Lanka through a sea route from the state. The intelligence issued an alert after inputs on the Sri Lankan nationals also trying to reach Indian shores following acute financial situation in that country.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister has recently issued a statement that the possibility of getting fuel including oil and gas in the island nation would be tough for the coming three weeks. He has also directed the people of travel restrictions leading to panic in the country.

The alert from the government has said that Sri Lankan Tamils are economically very poor and even the assistance extended by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora to their brethren is not reaching those in the remote areas of the country. This includes tea estate workers most of whom are from Sri Lankan Tamils who are economically in dire straits.

While the rich are able to take stock of essential commodities, poor are facing tough situations in the country.

The intelligence has also issued a warning that possibility of several people including Sri Lankan Tamils who had owed allegiance to the now-defunct LTTE reaching Indian shores through sea routes is high. The intelligence advisory has directed the Tamil Nadu marine and coastal police to be on alert against this.

It may be noted that there were intelligence reports on the LTTE regrouping in Tamil Nadu which became clear after a woman, a Canadian national, was arrested while trying to board a flight to Mumbai to release money from the account of a nonfunctioning organization using fake papers. Interrogation of the woman revealed that the huge fund that was lying dormant in the nationalized bank account was of an LTTE-related organization.

A former LTTE intelligence operative, Satkunam alias Sabesan was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Valsaravakkam in Chennai. The search of the NIA at his premises in Valsaravakkam and Iyypanthangal has led to the recovery of incriminating materials including details of the money flow from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka and this money according to intelligence sources was transferred to former operatives of LTTE in the island nation.

The Indian agencies were tracking him following inputs (specific) on his involvement in smuggling of drugs and weapons from Pakistan and the proceeds of the smuggling were used to fund LTTE cadres in Sri Lanka.

Investigations have also revealed that he was one of the key conspirators in the Vizhinjam arms case of Kerala in which five AK 47 rifles, 1000 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, and 300 kg of drugs off Minicoy coast which was recovered while Coast Guard intercepted the fishing vessel Ravihansi on March 18, 2021.

These two incidents have led to Indian intelligence agencies upping their ante and the present advisory is part of certain inputs the agencies have received.