It’s after nearly three years that Tamil Nadu police have intercepted a major human trafficking chain. “The operation was coordinated by Tamil Nadu police’s Q branch. As many as 23 Sri Lankan nationals and four agents have been arrested in Madurai. Based on Tamil Nadu input, Karnataka police arrested 38 Sri Lankans and three agents in Mangaluru,” a senior police officer disclosed here on Friday.
Those arrested in Mangaluru have been remanded while those nabbed in Madurai are being remanded, sources said.
All the Sri Lankans were arrested under the Foreigners’ Act while agents, who are mainly local residents, are booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Police said all the Sri Lankans were trying to travel to Canada in illegal ferries from Mangaluru. Those arrested in Madurai were also planning to go to Mangaluru and from there to Canada. Those arrested in Mangaluru had reached India a month earlier, police noted.
The main operator in Madurai has been identified as Dhinakaran, an LTTE sympathiser, by Tamil Nadu police. He is one of the four agents arrested in Madurai while police are on the lookout 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.