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3 held for bid to smuggle out refugees

Published: 23rd June 2013 08:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2013 08:21 AM   |  A+A-

The Q branch police has rounded up two agents and the sibling of a mechanised boat owner who were allegedly involved in trafficking Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu to overseas destinations.

The latest bookings are a direct fallout of ‘Operation Hamla’, a mock coastal security drill conducted jointly by the State and central agencies, to keep the infiltrators and illegal voyagers at bay.

As the first phase of the operation concluded on Friday evening, it is alleged that a well furnished mechanised boat, all set to take up an illegal voyage, was spotted which was stationed on the shores of Akkarapettai fishing hamlet in the district. It is said that the operators and agents would have postponed their journey fearing the ongoing security drills.

According to police sources, it is said that a mechanised boat was all set to take up an illegal voyage on the late hours of June 19, 2013 for transporting Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from various refugee camps to other countries.  The owner of the boat was identified as Tamil Selvan (40) of Seruthur tsunami colony near Velankanni and his brother Senthil Kumar (35). It is believed that Senthil Kumar has ties with agents in Madurai and Puducherry pertaining to the trafficking of the refugees.

Sources also said that several essential products for the journey, including water, biscuits and fuel were also found stocked in the boat.  Local fishermen grew suspicious seeing the missing registration number and peeled paints in the boat and duly informed the police.

Based on the interrogation of Senthil kumar, two agents were secured by the police near Velankanni whose identities have been kept undisclosed and were being questioned.



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