Malaysia hunts for more suspected members of Tamil Tigers terrorist group

One of the three Sri Lankan men being detained by police officers in Bandar Utama. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 
One of the three Sri Lankan men being detained by police officers in Bandar Utama. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division is hunting down more suspected members of the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) believed to be hiding in the country.

The operation comes in the wake of the arrests of three Sri Lankan men on May 15.

The men, believed to be members of the terrorist group also known as Tamil Tigers, were held after raids conducted here and in Klang.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said they were believed to have been in the country since 2004.

"They were using Malaysia as a base to secure funds, spread their propaganda and were attempting to revive the defunct terrorist group," he said in a statement on Sunday.

Among the items seized were LTTE propaganda materials, media equipment and foreign currency notes valued at RM20,176 (S$7,872).

"We managed to track them down using the identities given on their United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards," he said, adding that all three had been detained under the Immigration Act.

He said Bukit Aman would work closely with UNHCR to prevent terrorists from exploiting the refugee card to enter and remain in the country.

"We will not allow Malaysia to be used as a place for them to hide or conduct terror activities here or on foreign soil," he said.

It was learnt that the Sri Lankans had assimilated themselves well in Malaysia, including holding regular jobs.

According to a source, one of them worked for an IT company while another owned a business supplying tents for weddings.

"One of the suspects was previously jailed in Singapore for theft.

"He served his sentence and fled to Malaysia," he said, adding that members of the LTTE had been mingling among the 4,300 Sri Lankan nationals in the country.

The source said police had detained eight LTTE members since 2009, including a man believed to be the second in command of the group.

All have since been deported to Sri Lanka, where they face prosecution for terrorist acts.

The source said some of the Tamil Tigers had obtained their UNHCR cards through legal channels while the cards of others were sourced illegally.

Police believe that Malaysians, who are sympathisers to the cause, have been harbouring them.

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