Personnel to launch intensive campaign

Coastal Security Group (CSG) personnel have embarked on a mission to prevent human trafficking and intensive campaign would be launched at all refugee camps across Tamil Nadu, according to Additional Director General of Police, C. Sylendra Babu, CSG. The move, he said was aimed to curb illegal ferrying of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to Australia.

All 113 refugee camps in the State would be covered under this programme, Mr. Babu said when contacted on Saturday.

The refugees would be sensitized on the risk to their lives and also loss of their hard earned money. Agents and clandestine boat operators indulge in collecting a hefty sum of Rs. 1 lakh per head to ferry the refugees. Miscreants exploit the ignorance of the refugees, who are often lured by promises of lucrative jobs in Australia.

During a recent crackdown in April 2013, a bid by traffickers to ferry 120 refugees camped at Nagapattinam was foiled.

In November 2012, 64 refugees from Vedaranyam and a similar number from Mangalore were rescued.

Asked about measures taken to curb such illegal activities, he said Suresh (32) of Sri Lanka, believed to be a human trafficker was detained under the National Security Act and investigation is on. Vigil would be stepped up along the coastline and three additional marine police stations would be established in Tuticorin.

Moreover, Mr. Sylendra Babu said the marine cops would be exposed to SCUBA diving lessons in a bid to conduct search and rescue operations at sea when fishermen were in distress. Initially, training programmes would be conducted in Chennai and the last leg would be organised at Tuticorin.

Process is on to procure 24 all terrain bikes to intensify surveillance along the shoreline.