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Last updated: 23 February, 2012 - Published 14:49 GMT
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Suspected smuggler detained under PTA
Stranded Tamils camping in Togo
Police say the suspect has tried to discredit Sri Lanka's image
A court in Sri Lanka has granted permission for the police to detain a suspected smuggler under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

It is alleged that Arunagirinathan Jeyaruban, a resident of Vavuniya has smuggled hundreds of Sri Lankans to the Togo.

He was recently arrested by police fraud investigation bureau in Wellawatta on suspicion of smuggling 269 Sri Lankan Tamils to Togo.

Some victims who returned from Togo earlier told the BBC that the smugglers promised to send them to Canada.

Minister Karuna

Police informed the court that the suspect has been trying to discredit the image of Sri Lanka by spreading rumours that Tamils are no longer can live in the country as a result of human rights violations.

Having considered a Detention Order issued by the defence secretary against the suspect, the court granted permission to the police to detain him until 21st March and question him of alleged connections with the Tamil Tigers.

It is widely discussed in the media circles that the suspect is a close ally of Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan (Karuna), who used to be a senior LTTE leader until he defected to the government in 2004.

Rejecting the reports, police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana, told BBC Sandeshaya that there are no evidence to suggest the suspects having links with politicians.

However, there is evidence to suggest he has had links with the LTTE, the spokesman added.

Bound for Canada, stranded in Togo
31 January, 2012 | Sandeshaya
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