Refugees smuggling racket busted in Chennai

Chennai Police busted a human trafficking racket and arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils for collecting money from refugees staying in camps in the state promising to take them to Australia through illegal ferries. Police also seized a satellite phone from them.

Acting on a tip-off, ‘Q’ branch police picked up Ramesh alias Ramachandran (38) and Gandhi Mohan (40) from Red Hills. Inquiries revealed that Ramesh and Mohan, who hail from Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, were planning to leave to Christmas Island, a part of Australia, by a ferry from Yanam, off Andhra Pradesh coast.

“We got the tip-off from a refugee staying in a camp. We went to the hideout and nabbed the duo who were preparing for the journey. The two had collected 1.5 lakh from each refugee. Some others had given them 50,000 as advance,” a senior police officer said.

Ramesh and Mohan came to Tamil Nadu as refugees in 1997. They were staying outside the camp, raised money and bought a ferry for 31 lakh and kept it on Yanam coast. They planned to set sail on July 5. They ordered 13 plastic tanks to take water and enrolled 50 refugees and collected money from them.

The ferry carrying 40-50 people would reach the island after a 15-day journey. Once they enter Australian waters and are captured, they are taken to a refugee camp. (Times of India)