With this, the Tamil Nadu police also intercepted a major human trafficking chain nearly after three years.
'It was operation co-ordinated by Tamil Nadu police's Q branch. 23 Sri Lankan nationals and 4 agents have been arrested in Madurai. Based on Tamil Nadu input, Karnataka police arrested 38 Sri Lankans and 3 agents in Mangalore" a senior police official disclosed here on Friday.
Those arrested in Mangalore has been remanded while the people nabbed in Madurai are being remanded, sources said.
All the Sri Lankans were arrested under Foreigners' Act while agents, who are mainly local residents, are booked under various IPC sections.
Police said all the Sri Lankans were trying to travel to Canada in illegal ferries from Mangalore. Those arrested in Madurai were also planning to go to Mangalore and from there to Canada. Those arrested in Mangalore had reached India a month earlier, police noted. Main operator in Madurai has been identifed as Dhinakaran, who is indentifed as to be an LTTE sympathiser by TN police. He is one of the four agents arrested in Madurai while police are on the look out for his son, Ashok Kumar who is also believed to be part of the human trafficking ring. Police are also looking into possible LTTE angle to the entire episode because of the network's link to Dhinakaran.