Five more arrested in LTTE crackdown, total now at 12 (Updated)

13 Oct 2019 / 19:48 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The crackdown on local supporters of Tamil militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continued on Saturday with the arrest of five more people, including a teacher and a Malacca municipal councillor.

Federal Special Branch counter-terrorism principal assistant director DCP Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said today the 52-year-old teacher was arrested at his house in Teluk Panglima Garang, Banting on Saturday morning.

Two others, a 38-year-old executive officer of a state subsidiary company and a 43-year-old state municipal councillor, were arrested in Durian Tunggal, Malacca.

Two others, a 26-year-old factory worker and 29-year-old private security company officer, were arrested in Bukit Mertajam, Penang in a sting by the federal Special Branch.

Ayob said all five men were suspected to be involved in promotion, fund-raising and recruitment efforts for the LTTE.

He said police also seized LTTE related books, flags and other materials from the suspects, who are being held under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act (Sosma) and can be detained for up to 28 days.

“We also traced transactions of large sums of money meant for the promotion and recruitment of the LTTE, linked to the suspects. We will continue our operations against this group.”

As for foreigners who enter Malaysia to promote the LTTE such as South Indian Naam Tamilar party leader Senthamilan Seeman, Ayob said police were aware of the politician’s multiple entries into the country and if he was found to be promoting the LTTE here police would seek the Immigration Department’s assistance to prohibit his passage into Malaysia.

He said the police needed to arrest the LTTE members as it was a matter of national security.

“There are certain quarters who argued that those held could have just been summoned for questioning instead. In cases such as these, we have clear evidence of their involvement but we need to gather more. Only by arresting them can we seize crucial items like their cellphones or carry out a search on their homes.

“The LTTE here has a branch in every state in Malaysia. This is a serious matter and if we do not clamp down on it, its network will continue growing.”

On a claim by certain politicians that police would cease arresting suspected LTTE supporters, Ayob retorted, “from whom that came, I am not sure but it surely was not from me. Why should we stop, is it because it involved the DAP? We are not concerned about who and which political party they belong to. As long as there is evidence of their involvement in the LTTE, it is our concern and we will arrest them. It is not wrong to sympathise with the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka but to support the LTTE is an offence because it is involved in violent acts.”

The latest arrests brings the total number of those held over LTTE-related activities to 12.

On Thursday, seven people including Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran, both DAP members, were nabbed by federal police.

Police said two of those held had also planned to attack the Sri Lankan embassy here.

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