LTTE arms procurement chief arrested in Bangkok

By Xinhua

Bangkok : Thai police has reportedly arrested the chief arms procurer of the Sri Lanka militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), local media reported Tuesday.

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Citing a report from online newspaper Asian Tribune from Sri Lanka, Bangkok Post and The Nation news websites here said that Kumaran Pathmanadan has been arrested by police in Bangkok Monday, although Thai authorities have not yet confirmed the news.

Pathmanadan is allegedly one of the top officials of the LTTE and the group’s chief procurer of arms. He has been on Interpol’s Most Wanted list for a number of years and has also been implicated in several assassinations of political leaders.

The report said that Pathmanadan had apparently obtained Thai citizenship and he continued to run the global network of LTTE offices and its weapons procurement, logistics and money laundering operations.

His arrest followed the detention of three LTTE operatives, who were allegedly trying to buy guns and 45,000 rounds of ammunition, in Thailand’s southern coastal province of Ranong last month.

All four were suspected of running a Tamil Tiger gunrunning ring centred in Thailand to smuggle weapons to the group in Sri Lanka.

LTTE has been designated as a terrorist group by most western countries but not by Thailand.