Lankans nabbed in Kerala:
Police stumble on human trafficking racket
Kerala police Saturday stumbled on a human trafficking racket
following the detention of 38 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from a lodge in
Kollam district. The group, which included five women and as many
children, were picked up late Friday night following intelligence inputs
from Tamil Nadu police. All India Congress Committee General Secretary
Rahul Gandhi is due to visit the district this week in connection with
the Indian Youth Congress organisational polls.
While the women and children were allowed to remain in the lodge, the
men were taken to the Kollam East Police station. Initially, they
claimed that they were Indian citizens.
However, on further questioning, one of them, who knew English,
disclosed that he hailed from Mullaitivu.
They had migrated to Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka within the last two
“They revealed that two agents by name Siva and Dennis had promised
to take them to Australia. The agents took Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs from
each of them,’’ Kollam SP Harshita Attalluri told Times of India.
“Dennis has been detained and we are booking a case against him,’’ she
According to sources, interrogation of the agent revealed that the
refugees were due to be ferried in ships bound for Australia. Many did
not have proper travel documents. The agent, who had taken the money
from them, had asked them to reach Kollam so that they could be sent
further to Australia. While some came through the sea route from
Rameswaram, others took the air route via Kochi.
Sources in Tamil Nadu’s Q branch said it was not unusual for refugees
to leave for jobs and not return. Instead they crossed the state borders
to link up with agents in an attempt to reach US, Canada, Europe or
Leaving nothing to chance, sleuths from the Intelligence Bureau also
quizzed the refugees. The SP added that the police had not come across
anything so far to link them with the outlawed LTTE. “We are still
interrogating them,’’ she said.
Police are now examining if some groups had already been dispatched
to the Commonwealth country by the agent in a similar manner. Though
Attalluri said it was too early to say anything on this, sources pointed
out that this was the third such group. About 50 people in two groups
had already been sent to Australia, they added. The Times of India.