Home » Pakistan-based drug lord under scanner for 'trying to revive LTTE in Lanka' – The Economic Times

Pakistan-based drug lord under scanner for 'trying to revive LTTE in Lanka' – The Economic Times

A Pakistan-based drug lord has come under the scanner for allegedly trying to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka -- the funding for which seems to be through the supply and sale of large quantities of heroin in India. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) recently seized 200 kg of heroin off the Kerala coast, allegedly linked to a Pak-based drug cartel, owned by Haji Salim, officials said.

Salim's name first surfaced during investigations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July this year when the agency said that Salim, along with Sri Lankan drug mafia C Gunashekharan alias Guna and Pushparajah alias Pookutti Kanna, were pushing illegal drugs and arms into India using the sea route for the revival of LTTE. The agency is also investigating seizure of arms and the arrest of two youths by the Tamil Nadu police. The accused were inspired by the LTTE and wanted to wage an armed struggle in Tamil Nadu, according to the police.

The NIA, after taking over the probe from the Tamil Nadu police, claimed to have seized from the arrested youths photos of LTTE leader Prabhakaran, invoices for the purchase of materials used for manufacturing of illegal firearms, ammunition and explosive substances, seeds for making poison and jungle survival kits, they said.

After the seizure of heroin, the NCB found links to Salim's drug cartel. "The seized packets had markings and packing specialities unique to Afghan and Pakistan-based drug cartels. While some of the drug packets had 'Scorpion' seal markings, the others had 'dragon' seal markings. The drug had water-proof seven-layered packing. It was partially meant for Sri Lanka and India and was being smuggled using an Iranian boat and crew. Six Iranians were arrested and booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act," according to the NCB.

The drugs, NCB said, were sourced from Afghanistan and transported to Pakistan. "The consignment was then loaded onto the seized vessel off the Pakistan coast in a mid-sea exchange. The vessel then set sail to Indian waters for delivery to another Sri Lankan vessel but the SL vessel could not be tracked," the NCB stated.

"The southern route for trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan to Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan and then to various countries in the Indian Ocean Region, including India, has gained prominence over the last few years," the NCB said.


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