8:55 AM

Two more LTTE cadres arrested in Paris

French police detained two leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 13. These two had evaded arrest last year when the police closed in on them during the major round up of top Tamil Tigers operating in Paris. The French Police arrested two leading LTTE activist Subramanium Muhundan and Yogarasa Sivarasan in Paris after painstaking investigating lasting several months.

Muhundan and Sivarasan were heavily involved in fund raising and money laundering for the LTTE since the arrest of 19 LTTE cadres including top most leaders of all the divisions of the terrorist organization April 01, 2007. After preliminary investigations, 5 of them were released but the top 14 leaders were remanded without bail. The detained include LTTE’s French leader Nadaraja Mathinatharan alias Parithi and the Political Leader Aravindan Thuraiswamy alias Metha.

At that time, several LTTE cadres including Muhundan and Sivarasan who crossed over to neighboring countries though the open border points.

After the arrest of the top leaders, the LTTE appointed Stalin Sarvarimuthu alias Ranjan to the top post. Ravi Manikkam alias Utha Ravi was appointed as ‘enforcer’ to intimidate the Tamil community. But within months, the Sous Directorate Anti Terrorism (SDAT) arrested them together with three others taking the total LTTE detainees to 19.

Although the lawyers submitted several appeals for release, the Magistrates of Paris refused bail for 19 LTTE leaders.

The French police produced the detainees before the judge and their bail applications were rejected and their custody period was extended by another four months. The Court was informed that the suspects would be tried in April 2008 for several criminal activities including extortion, intimidation, forceful fund collection, money laundering and fraudulent finance dealings.

The sources in Paris said that another detainee, Thuraisamy Jayamurthy alias Sinna Jeya was in-charge of finance and money laundering.

Ranjan and four others were apprehended after questioning the first group pf 14 who were arrested in April. Though Ranjan was keeping a low profile, French police were monitoring the activities of the LTTE’s second rung, after nabbing the top leaders.

French police officers informed the courts that they had uncovered large number of documents from several LTTE offices and other front organizations and it would take several months to examine all the evidence. It is also known that if the suspects were released on bail it would hamper investigations and it would be difficult to get witnesses as the LTTE is well known for intimidation of hostile witnesses.