Monday, May 07, 2007

How tsunami cash bankrolled Tigers?

Australia has become a 'central front of a distant war- a rich sources of millions of dollars in funds and equipment for Tamil Tiger terrorist group to help wage their separatist war in Sri Lanka', The Weekend Australian reported in its latest edition on Saturday.

"An investigation by The Weekend Australian has uncovered details of money trails and the deception used by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) to rort funds from Australians who believed they were helping tsunami victims," it said.

Extracts of the WA report titled 'How tsunami cash bankrolled Tigers' said: "Sources say LTTE had been raising modest amounts of money here since the 1980s but its operations were transformed by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which gave the group its first chance to milk large amounts of cash from Australians.

Moved by the stories of death and destruction in Sri Lanka, Australians donated generously.

A small group of hardcore LTTE activists in Melbourne and Sydney exploited this and held fundraising events, knowing that the money raised would never reach the tsunami victims.

Instead, it would be channeled via a network of clandestine bank accounts and secret couriers to the war chest of the Tamil Tigers.

However, the money trail is now threatened by the AFP which has been investigating the fundraising since early 2005.

This week, the AFP charged two Melbourne men with providing financial and material support to the Tamil Tigers.

LTTE fronts in Australia use a variety of tactics to attract donations, including music festivals, dance concerts and radiothons.

Typically, money raised is put into bank accounts in Southeast Asia before it ends up in the pockets of arms dealers and other LTTE intermediaries in the region.

To conceal the tracks, funds are often transferred into legitimate bank accounts in Malaysia and Thailand.

Documents obtained by The Weekend Australian show one Tamil group transferred $400,000 out of Australia between 2000 and 2003 for alleged weapons procurement. Couriers, usually LTTE sympathisers from Melbourne or Sydney, are sometimes used to carry the money to Kuala Lumpur. Sources say the money is then moved by intermediaries to either Indonesia or Cambodia where the LTTE "gets a lot of its military weapons".

Although many of the estimated 30,000 Tamils in Australia sympathise with the separatist cause of LTTE, only a hard core are engaged in raising funds.

Sources say there are about 300 activists in Australia. Some use "intimidatory" or "emotional tactics" to attract funds from other Tamils.

Those who refuse to give money are labelled traitors and are isolated by the community.

In extreme cases, their families in Sri Lanka are threatened. "They demand money (especially) from businesses," a source said. "People can't outrightly resist." Another source said: "They have a complete strangle-hold on the community."

LTTE donors in Australia are spread across the economic spectrum, ranging from grocery store owners to medical specialists, lawyers and media players. Of the many Tamil organisations in Australia, two groups - the Tamil Coordinating Committee and the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation - have come under the scrutiny of authorities.

LTTE activists in Australia have sent military-related equipment, including boat and plane parts which are assembled once they reach Sri Lanka.

Sources say Jeyakumar, an IT lecturer at Frankston's Chisholm TAFE, headed the LTTE network until his death last month.

Terror expert Rohan Gunaratna claimed Jeyakumar helped facilitate the purchase of light aircraft for the LTTE, which have been used to attack Colombo," the WA report added.

Courtesy : The Island

No comments:

Post a Comment

Use this space to express your opinion about this post.Please do not use explicit words or links to other web sites or blogs. Including such prohibited things will result in not publishing your comments in the Blog.

Owners of this blog bears no responsibility for the ideas and opinion expressed by the numerous readers of this web site.

Best Pay Per Click Program with Minimum Payout Threshold