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Home > India > News > Report

UK: Police arrest 3 for funding Tamil Tigers

April 30, 2008 12:56 IST
Last Updated: April 30, 2008 15:13 IST

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The counter-terrorism investigation team in London [Images] and Wales has arrested three men for allegedly funding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka [Images].

The arrests were made in connection with allegations that money, equipment and weapon manuals had been stock-piled for use by the Tamil Tigers separatists.

The rebels, who have been fighting a 30-year war against the Sri Lankan government, are a proscribed organisation in Britain under the Terrorism Act.

Two men, aged 39 and 46, were arrested at separate addresses in Newtown, and a third, aged 33, was held in Mitcham.

All three men were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and have been transferred to the high security Paddington Green police station in central London for questioning.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said, ''At 6,30 am today, officers from Counter Terrorism Command, supported by Dyfed-Powys Police, executed search warrants at a number of residential and business addresses in Newtown, Powys.''

''This is part of a long-term investigation into alleged funding in support of terrorism overseas and two people have already been charged in connection with this investigation,'' he added.

''It is not linked to Al Qaeda [Images] type activity or inspired terrorism. It is in relation to support, procurement and fundraising for a proscribed organisation, the LTTE,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The latest arrests were made as part of an investigation into two other men from South London, who face trial later this year.

One of the men is accused of arranging meetings of the Tamil Tigers and addressing an event in Hyde Park, central London.

He is also accused of amassing a hoard of military equipment including machetes, combat boots, camouflage clothes, spades, handcuffs and weapons manuals.

Last November, the renegade Tamil Tiger leader Colonel Karuna Amman was arrested in a joint operation by the British police and immigration officials in Kensington, West London.

He had arrived using a diplomatic passport under a false name, which he said was supplied by the Sri Lankan government, and was sentenced to nine months for holding false identity documents.

A Dyfed Powys police spokesman said, "We would like to reassure our communities that arrests of this nature in the force area are rare and they should not be unduly alarmed.''