The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested nine Sri Lankans from a special camp for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, because they are suspected of smuggling drugs and weapons to help the LTTE come back to life.
The agency said that two of the men who were arrested were in regular contact with Haji Salim, a Pakistani drug runner who often went between Dubai, Pakistan, and Iran. The NIA said that these men and Salim worked to bring the LTTE back to life in both Sri Lanka and India.
“The arrested men have been named as C Gunashekharan, also known as 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 is about the activities of a Sri Lankan drug mafia run by C Gunashekharan and Pushparajah with the help of Haji Salim, a drug and arms dealer from Pakistan. This group has been selling illegal drugs and weapons in India and Sri Lanka to help the LTTE get back on its feet in both countries. The NIA took over this case on its own on July 8, this year,” a spokesperson said.
The Narcotics Control Bureau had already opened a case when police arrested six Sri Lankans and found 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 told the NIA to file a case after it was found that the accused had broken the NIA Act, 2008, in a way that was on the list of crimes.
Suresh Rajan, a citizen of Sri Lanka, was arrested in Angamaly, near Kochi, in connection with the case from Kerala, where he was said to have ties to Haji Salim. The NIA investigation also found that Rajan had made financial deals worth crores of rupees.
“Rajan was a key player in getting drugs and weapons to Sri Lanka through India’s back yard. Several LTTE members helped him, sources said.