Sanjay Kumar, the key operative of the racket that attempted to traffic Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Munambam in Kochi, India, had earlier attempted to take people to Europe on board a fishing vessel from Thiruvananthapuram, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Official sources said Sanjay, said to be a resident of Chennai, was wanted in a cheating case registered at a police station in coastal Thiruvananthapurm two years ago.
“This was verified during an investigation into whether the racket had earlier trafficked people through the Kerala coast,” said a senior police official.
The sleuths, however, are yet to confirm the identity of Sanjay. “We have been unable to validate whether these two persons are the same as in both cases, the addresses given were different and found to be fake,” the official added.
According to police, Veeramani, one of the agents arrested along with the Sri Lankan nationals, was the only point of contact between the refugees and Sanjay.
“We have now sought the help of Tamil Nadu Q branch to trace these persons, said to be residing near the Chennai Port,” said T.R. Raju, Circle Inspector of police, Njarakkal.
During interrogation, Veramani said he had received just Indian Rs.50,000 as commission from Sanjay, of which Indian Rs.15,000 was advanced towards purchasing the fishing vessel here.
The three persons arrested along with Veeramani received a brokerage of Rs.2,000 each for arranging the fishing vessel.
Meanwhile, the police suspect that Sanjay could have received payments from more persons, who would be boarding the boat from different points. (Colombo Gazette)