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Representative image

SL cops to quiz drug lords held at spl camp

The Lankan police team, waiting for clearance from diplomatic channels, has collected details of all cases pending against the nine suspects in various police stations in their country, sources said.

CHENNAI: A team of Sri Lankan CID investigators will soon fly down to India to question nine Sri Lankan drug lords arrested by NIA from Tiruchy special camp. Lankan officials will also explore the possibility of extradition of the nine Lankans from India as they are wanted for many crimes in the island nation.

The Lankan police team, waiting for clearance from diplomatic channels, has collected details of all cases pending against the nine suspects in various police stations in their country, sources said.

The NIA arrested the Lankans from the Tiruchy special camp in connection with their alleged involvement in drugs and arms smuggling to revive the LTTE.

According to NIA, two of the arrested were in regular touch with a Pakistan-based drug runner, Haji Salim, who often travelled between Dubai, Pakistan and Iran.

The suspects are C Gunashekharan alias Kimbula Ele Guna Pukkudi Kanna, Mohamed Aswin, Sunil Gamini Fonseka alias Kota Gamini, Stanley Kennedy Fernando alias Bumma, Athurugiriye Ladiya, Welle Suranga, Mohamed Asmin and Thileepan.

The Narcotics Control Bureau had earlier registered a case after law enforcement agencies arrested six Lankan nationals and seized 300 kgs of heroin, five AK-47 rifles, and 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition off the coast of Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram in March 2021. Later, the Home Ministry transferred the case to NIA.

Last year, Suresh Rajan, a Lankan national, was arrested from Angamaly near Kochi, Kerala in connection with the case of his alleged links with Haji Salim.

“Rajan played a prominent role in drug and arms trafficking to Sri Lanka, through the backyard of India. He was aided by several personnel who were part of the network,” NIA had said.

Sources, while detailing the cases in which the Lankan are wanted in their home country, said Nalin Chathuranga, also known as Athurugiriye Ladiya, is one of the main suspects in the murder of underworld gangster Samayan.

It was revealed he was closely associated with Angoda Lokka, a one-time underworld don.

C Gunashekharan alias Kimbula Ele Guna is wanted for the murder of Sunil Mendis, and drug trafficking. Pushparaj aka Pukkudi Kanna is wanted for 10 separate homicides in Colombo North.

Sunil Gamini Fonseka alias Kota Gamini is wanted for several murders, and is also charged with plotting to assassinate former Senior DIG Priyantha Jayakody.

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