(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Former intelligence operative of the Liberation Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) Satkunam alias Sabesan (47), who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Chennai in October 2021 for alleged involvement in the smuggling of drugs and arms from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, had close links with Sri Lankan don Angoda Lokka and his aides, according to the investigation by the Tamil Nadu Crime Branch CID (CB-CID), The Hindu reported.
The CB-CID, which is investigating the death and illegal stay of Lokka in disguise in Coimbatore, recently arrested Sabesan and two others Chinnasuresh (35), also from Sri Lanka, and Soundararajan (25) of Chennai.
The CB-CID team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police P. Sivakumar interrogated the trio and found they were closely associated with Lokka and his confidanteChanuka Thananayake alias Ladiya.
According to investigators, Sabesan and Chinnasuresh had left Sri Lanka following crimes there and to escape from a rival gang. Lokka and Ladiya had also shifted base to India for the same reason. Lokka died under suspicious circumstances while hiding in Coimbatore as Pradeep Singh in July 2020, following which the CB-CID launched an investigation.
Investigators had arrested Ladiya and T. Gopalakrishnan alias Jayaprakash, who sheltered the former in Bengaluru, in November 2021.The duo during interrogation disclosed to the CB-CID about their links with Sabesan, Chinnasuresh and Soundararajan.
Prior to the CB-CID arresting the trio, the NIA had arrested Sabesan, Chinnasuresh and Soundararajan for their alleged involvement in the Vizhinjam arms case wherein six Sri Lankan nationals were arrested by the Coast Guard off Minicoy coast in March 18, 2021. The Coast Guard had seized five AK 47 rifles, 1,000 live rounds and 300 kg of heroin from three fishing vessels. The NIA took over the investigation and later arrested Sabesan, Chinnasuresh and Soundararajan for alleged involvement. The CB-CID formally recorded the arrest of the trio when they were in judicial remand in the NIA case and later interrogated them in custody.
The CB-CID suspects Lokka and Ladiya were into drugs business while hiding in India. Ladiya took over the control after the death of Lokka, said an investigator.
“Lokka and Ladiya were into drug dealing in Sri Lanka. The investigation has found out that they were doing the same from India through supporters in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. The entire network seems to have been smuggling drugs and arms from Pakistan to Sri Lanka. Sabesan played a key role in reaching smuggled items in Sri Lanka. The money from the illegal dealings reached Lokka and Ladiya through hawala transactions operated by Jayaprakash,” the officer said.
According to the NIA, Sabesan was the key conspirator in the Vizhinjam arms case. The agency said in a release on Sabesan’s arrest that the proceeds from the arms and drugs trafficking from Pakistan to Sri Lanka was for the revival of the LTTE. It said that he organized conspiracy meetings of LTTE sympathizers in India.
The CB-CID has recently a pistol which Lokka’s another aide D. Sivakamasundari, an advocate from Madurai whose father is also an LTTE sympathizer, had procured for him. Sivakamasundari had buried it in a deserted area after the death of Lokka. The weapon has been sent for ballistic examination.