A day after the district police had arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil who landed at Arichalmunai off Danushkodi from Jaffna, a Customs team apprehended a Sri Lankan Tamil, who arrived clandestinely from Talaimannar and two refugees who attempted to flee to Talaimannar on Thursday.
An eight-member Customs team was on patrolling on Wednesday night, when it spotted movement of people at Arichalmunai and found two Lankan Tamil refugees, a man, identified as R.Vimal Raj (26) and a woman identified as V.Nishantini (24) his wife, preparing to board a fibreglass boat.
The team launched the patrolling at 10 30 p.m. on Wednesday night and spotted the couple around 11 30 p.m., Mr M.Pugalendhi, Customs superintendent, who was part of the team, said.
As the Customs officials were questioning them, two persons landed in a fibreglass boat, but on seeing them, one person fled and returned in the boat, while the other person was apprehended, he said and identified him as S.Ilankumaran alias Ruban (34) from Talaimannar.
The team, which comprised Superintendent S.Ajith Kumar, two inspectors and four sea crew, was returning with the trio in a jeep when it encountered a two-wheeler in the wee hours on Thursday.
After it failed to stop, the Customs team chased it and the rider and the pillion rider escaped under darkness after abandoning the vehicle and throwing away a plastic container, he said. It contained four kg of ganja, Mr.Pugalendhi told The Hindu.
Sources in Q branch said Vimal Raj had arrived here as a refugee in 2006 and stayed in Mandapam Refugee camp for about six months before moving out to a camp in Wallajah, where he married Nishantini.
Both, however, fled the camp and were living in Kaveripakkam in Vellore district, the sources said.
Interrogation revealed that Vimal Raj’s brother, Anbu Raj, who was in Talaimannar had arranged for the boat for their illegal transit.
The other person who returned in the boat was identified as Amalan, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the local police arrested the duo who tried to smuggle ganja and identified them as S.Sathish Kumar (32) and N.Ramanathan (38), a yatra worker from here.
After the Customs team handed over the three Lankan Tamils, the Danushkodi Police arrested Ilankumaran under section 3 (a) read with 6(a) of Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 and section 14 of the Foreigners Act and remanded him to judicial custody. Police also remanded the duo who attempted to smuggle ganja. The refugee couple is likely to be lodged in a camp, police said.