THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Parassala police on Saturday night arrested a private ambulance driver for illegally ferrying Tamil Nadu natives from Kerala to Kaliyikkavila town on the Tamil Nadu side. Bijeesh, a resident of Parassuvaykkal has been arrested.
The ambulance that carried a banner of Vaikunda Swami Dharma Pracharana Sabha (VSDP), a community organisation, was seized by 11.30 pm from Amaravila checkpost.
According to the police, Bijeesh said he owned the vehicle and was an office-bearer of VSDP. “The man said he is an active member of VSDP. However, the leaders of the organisation said they have nothing to do with it,” said Parassala sub-inspector Sreelal Chandrasekharan.
On Saturday, the police officers who were on night duty at the checkpost blocked the vehicle when they saw five passengers inside it, the SI said.
According to sources, the five people who are natives of Kalkulam in Tamil Nadu, were working as labourers in various firms here and were stuck in Kerala due to the lockdown. They wanted to return home and sought the help of Bijeesh.
He agreed to ferry them in return of money. All of them boarded the ambulance from Pattom in Thiruvananthapuram. According to sources in Special Branch, this is not a lone incident. There are others who are trying to make a windfall by smuggling people across the border. A mid-level officer said some of the ambulance and truck drivers charge as much as Rs 1000 from a person to ferry him across the border taking advantage of the current situation.