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LTTE’s smuggling mastermind arrested

RAMANATHAPURAM: The mastermind behind smuggling operations for the LTTE and a senior political activist of the organisation, Krishnaneethan, was arrested yesterday at Uchapatti refugee camp in Madurai district, police said.

He is the brother of Vijayaneethan, arrested at Uppur near Keezhakarai with three others on July 30 for allegedly trying to smuggle sensitive equipment like Swiss made walkie talkies, 10 global positioning systems, batteries, lifejackets and multitester meters.

Krishnaneethan is also the nephew of Sivanesan, a commander of ‘Sea Tigers,’ LTTE’s naval wing, they said.

He was arrested by the ‘Q’ branch intelligence wing of Tamil Nadu Police.

Police said Krishnaneethan, his brother and two others Rakshanandhan and Sivaraman were hardcore Tigers and had escaped from Sri Lanka in the guise of refugees. At that time, the Sri Lankan police and the Army were specially searching for the two brothers, they said.

All the five were well trained in handling arms and were experts in high-speed navigation, police said, adding that they were also familiar with the Palk Straits and the sea coast in India and Sri Lanka.

Police said they were also looking for a Ramanathapuram district based businessman, a vital link, who helped them carry out smuggling activities without fear of being caught.

Vijayaneethan, who was living in Thiruvathavur refugee camp in Madurai district, had good contacts all over Tamil Nadu with LTTE sympathisers and refugees and smuggled goods from various points in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, police said.

Efforts by the LTTE to re-establish its supply chain in Tamil Nadu have suffered a setback as seven of their activists were arrested recently, police said on Monday.

While the head of LTTE’s procurement module Thambianna alias Daniel was arrested in Chennai on July 30, another mastermind behind smuggling operations from the state coast Krishnaneethan was taken into custody from a refugee camp at Uchapattin in Madurai district on Sunday.

In just six days, seven LTTE activists have been arrested from various places in the state, police said.

In an another catch on Sunday, police arrested a suspected LTTE cadre Muralitharan in Mandapam near Rameswaram after the man travelled by a plastic boat from Sri Lanka. The Navy and the Coast Guard had also stepped up vigil in the Palk Straits. PTI

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