The district police along with a revenue team seized around 1.5 tonnes of explosives from a SUV, which was being smuggled into Kerala at the Kerala-Kanyakumari border on Thursday.
The seizure came at the end of a dramatic 15-km long chase. On Thursday, Vilavancode Taluk Supply Officer (TSO) N Suki Premila along with her team was conducting a vehicle check at Eraviputhoorkadai on the Nagercoil -Thiruvananthapuram National Highways in the district.
“Around 5.30 am on Thursday during the check, we noticed a SUV which was already on our list and intercepted the vehicle. As it did not stop, we immediately informed the police and started chasing it,” Suki Premila told ‘Express’.
“After travelling for around 30 km, the SUV was about to pass through the Cheriyakolla police check post, but the police at the check post, who had already been notified, had downed the barriers of the check post and had put iron pins on the road to stop the vehicle. After hitting the barrier and breaking them, the SUV, whose tyres were punctured by the iron pins, stopped some yards away from the check post. Also, the SUV driver tried to escape but was caught by the public and police who were present there,” said the TSO.
“While checking the SUV, we found around 30 sacks, each containing 50 kg of Ammoniam Nitrate, an explosive material, all weighing around 1.5 tonnes. The explosive material along with the SUV was seized and driver Saji, 28, of Mecodu, near Vanniyoor in Kaliyakkavilai in the district, was secured,” said Arumanai police Inspector Renganathan.
During interrogation, Saji said he was taking the explosives to a quarry in Nedumangadu and added that he had taken the SUV from Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district. He had admitted that he was involved in other similar smuggling through Kanyakumari district earlier and this was his second trip. He used to be paid around `1,500 for transporting the SUV from Nanguneri to Kerala, said a police source.
Meanwhile, Head Constable David Rajan who was standing near the check post sustained minor bruises when the check post barriers broke after the SUV rammed into it, added sources.