UK Tamil procured war material, funds for LTTE, court told
The rebel tamil tigers of Sri Lanka have procured war-stores and raised funds for its activities in the UK, an ongoing trial of a 'prominent figure' in the Tamil community in London has revealed.
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 52, a "very prominent figure" in the Tamil community in the UK, co-ordinated the acquisition of material and funds for the benefit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a jury heard.
But despite warnings to put a stop to his activities, the defendant continued to procure electrical components for the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, some of which had "an obvious terrorist purpose".
Chrishanthakumar, known as Shanthan, is standing trial at Kingston Crown Court, in south-west London, where he denies one count of conspiracy to receive electrical components for the purposes of terrorism.
He is also charged with amassing a hoard of military equipment including machetes, combat boots, camouflage clothes, spades and handcuffs.
Another charge alleged that he received terrorist documents including guides to underwater warfare systems, explosive ordnance disposal and mine clearance.
He is also accused of two further offences - receiving money and belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the LTTE.
The five offences are alleged to have taken place between January 2003 and June 2007.
Three other men, Jegatheswaran Muraleetharan (Muralee), 46, and his brother, Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan (Vithy), 40, from Powys, Wales, and Murugesu Jegatheeswaran (Jegan), 34, from Mitcham, south London, are charged with receiving electronic items for use in terrorism.
They deny the charges.
Mr Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the defendants, all Tamils from the island of Sri Lanka, were supporters of the LTTE, with Shanthan a fully-fledged member of the group.
He said Shanthan, who has lived in the UK for many years, was "quite openly" a LTTE member and head of the United Tamil Organisation in this country, before it became a proscribed organisation, in 2001.
In 2004, the police became aware Shanthan was buying military clothing and equipment for shipment to LTTE forces in Sri Lanka from an army surplus store in Southsea, Hampshire, the court heard.