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Sri Lankan drug seizure accused aids revival of LTTE, suspects NIA

Agency moves court to invoke UAPA against them

Suspecting that the accused in the Sri Lankan arms and drugs seizure case were aiding the revival of the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the country and Sri Lanka, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has moved a Special Court here for invoking the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against them.

The Coast Guard intercepted a Sri Lankan fishing vessel, Ravihansi, in the Arabian Sea on March 18 last year and seized huge quantities of drugs, five AK 47 rifles and 1,000 pieces of 9 MM ammunition from the vessel. Six Sri Lankan nationals were also arrested.

Later, the NIA took over the investigation and arrested A. Suresh Raj and Soundarajan of Chennai.

The preliminary analysis of the social media accounts of the accused revealed that they were in contact with the convicted cadres of the LTTE and were coordinating in the exchange of illegal consignments. The accused used various SIM cards, including ones registered in foreign countries, for committing offences, the agency submitted.

Threat to security

The arrested and some “fugitive accused persons” had conspired in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2018 and formed a terrorist gang, which had collected and transferred huge amounts of money from various countries. The gang transferred the money to Dubai through hawala channels for procuring arms, ammunition and drugs, which were to the smuggled to Sri Lanka for supporting the LTTE and thereby threatening the security of India and furthering its activities in India, the agency submitted.

According to the NIA, the custodial interrogation of the accused revealed that arms, ammunition and drugs were procured through a Pakistan national for further supply in India and Sri Lanka. The Pakistan national receives his remuneration through his associates in Dubai, which is made through hawala network based in Sri Lanka and India, the agency noted.

The agency submitted that the analysis of digital devices of the accused revealed “audio threatening the Sri Lankan army on behalf of the LTTE.” The accused were also found operating many emails in the name of the LTTE, the agency submitted before the court.

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