'LTTE fall will alter drug trade in India'
MUMBAI: The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the death of its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran will change the dynamics of
drug trade in the subcontinent like never before, say experts.
Mumbai was a key link in this supply chain as LTTE's conduits often used the city to bring in drugs from Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, and the Rajasthan and Punjab border. The consignments were then transported to coastal towns in Tamil Nadu such as Tuticorin, Rameshwaram, Ramnad, Nagapattinam, Kochi and a host of localities inhabited by fishing communities on the south-east coast. From there, the drugs would be shipped to Velvettiturai, a township located along the northern coast of Sri Lanka and formerly under LTTE control.
Thus, over the years, drug enforcement agencies in Mumbai have arrested several Sri Lankan Tamils, and charged them with smuggling narcotics. "The accused were found to be highly motivated. They were taking the risk not just for the money, but because they believed in the LTTE's cause,'' said a public prosecutor. "The LTTE started using the revenue from narcotics to finance its armed struggle ever since the conflict started in 1983,'' said intelligence expert B Raman. However, the LTTE's role in the narcotics business was different from other international gangs such as the `D' Company, which indulges in direct selling of drugs.
Prabhakaran the 'Sun God' to his supporters both active and passive, the saviour of the Tamil People, the worlds most ruthless terrorist and murderer of his opponents was also involved in the Drug trade which financed part of his weapons purchases.
The LTTE smuggling drugs, in order to save the 'Tamil People', flouted international laws and proivided this poison to many in foreign countries. Youngsters in foreign lands used these drugs at the cost of their health, finances and life. This affected the Anti Drug programs of many countries.
LTTE was such a ruthless organization that they did not care as to who died or which Government suffered as long as its aims were achieved.
This also goes to prove that the money earned off the drugs would have gone to the coffers of K. Pathmanathan, the terrorist whom the LTTE supporters adore, for onward transmission to the weapons dealers.
Does this elevate Pathmanathan's description to - Terrorist, Gun runner, Runner (fugitive) and Drug dealer?
The LTTE's hostility with the Sri Lankan government began in 1983. The Tigers are most notorious for their cadre of suicide bombers, the Black Tigers. Political assassinations and bombings are commonplace, however, the LTTE has refrained from targeting foreign diplomatic and commercial establishments.
Sri Lanka's preoccupation with the LTTE depletes the resources needed to adequately address the nation's drug problem. The conflict with the LTTE absorbs the attention of the country's naval forces, preventing the adequate patrol of Sri Lanka's 1,100 miles of coastline. DEA intelligence suggests the LTTE finance their insurgency through drug trafficking. Information obtained since the mid-1980's indicates that some Tamil Tiger communities in Europe are also involved in narcotics smuggling, having historically served as drug couriers moving narcotics into Europe.
With the terrorist war going on in Sri Lanka, the drug smuggling operation of the LTTE was overshadowed. Little did the world know that LTTE drug smugglers had spread their tentacles internationally.
In the past LTTE had run successful drug rings through its couriers in Europe. Australia has been a safe haven for LTTE agents to carry out its operations despite the Australian government banning it as a person organization. For instance, it has managed to hoodwink Australian authorities by putting up professionals as front men. Dr. Rajan Rasiah, a successful medical pracbreastioner, has taken over the operations of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) after its former head Dr. Jay Maheswaran who had denied any political connections with the LTTE, went as an advisor to work in the Vanni with the LTTE as an advisor in April 2002. TRO, which is the primary source of collecting funds from expatriate Tamils for the LTTE, has carried out successful fund-raising activities in Australia through seemingly inoffensive cultural and food fairs. Since they have shifted their operations from Europe to >South and South East Asia this latest drug operation under a Sri Lankan Tamil could have direct link to the LTTE agents, according LTTE-watchers.
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