Southern states are on high alert view heightened narcoterrorism activity along Tamil Nadu and Kerala shores.
Narco terrorism along the coastal borders has created a serious alert in the country’s internal as well as external security. The role of drug trafficking in promoting and financing today’s global terrorism has increased and, in some cases, drugs have become the currency used as commission for these terrorist attacks. A notorious drug lord Kanchipani alias Mohammed Imran of Sri Lanka entered Tamil Nadu through the coastal area of Rameswaram after his release on bail. Knowing the gravity of the situation, political party leaders like PMK’s Anbumani Ramadas and BJP’s Annamalai are pressurizing the ruling party as it is very clear that this particular fugitive drug lord has a serious international supply chain network in the drug trade and his sneaking in into Tamil Nadu will definitely impact the harmony of the state.
Kanchipani Imran is a Sri Lankan drug peddler who is internationally connected with drug lords of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Dubai, Maldives, and India. He fled to Dubai in 2016, later in 2019 where he was deported and arrested by Sri Lankan police along with many other major suspects (Anushka Kaushal, Amila Sampath, Anderson Fernandez) after pressure from India and Sri Lankan authorities for various offences. Investigations revealed that all these suspects are wanted for many murders and attempted murders committed by them. Imran was arrested by Colombo Crime Division (CCD) on 29th March 2019. These suspects had a close accomplice, drug kingpin Makandure Madush. Makandure Madush was a suspect in the long list of organized crime-related activities in Sri Lanka, he has also been said to be in link with high-profile crimes. Madush was said to be a close aid of Haji Salim, a drug cartel and arms supplier of Balochistan in Pakistan with ISI’s backing. Several prominent underworld figures and celebrities totalling 25 suspects including Sri Lankan singer Amal Perera and actor Ryan Van Rooyen were also taken into custody along with Madush at a Drug-party in a Dubai hotel where a large number of drugs was recovered from the suspects. Madush was arrested and deported from Dubai in February 2019 and has been held by CID on a detention order since his arrival in the country. The suspect was further transferred to CCD from the CID for further investigation. Before Ryan Van Rooyen left for Dubai, police seized the actor’s car in a resort that had allegedly been used by the actor, in which police officers found 5750mg of Kerala cannabis inside it. The resort owner Suranji Sudda was also arrested in Dubai with Madush. But Madush was later shot dead in a crossfire between police officers from the CCD division and suspected gang members in Lanka. This incident has raised many questions in Sri Lanka’s political ring as his death was in police custody and was believed to be under political support.
Both Imran and Madush had close contact with the Pakistan-based drug cartel Haji Salim. The recent NIA raids from a special camp for Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu arrested 9 Sri Lankans who were involved in illegal drugs and arms trade and were working in close association with Haji Salim. Several other illicit activities of carrying arms and ammunition along the coastal lines of India such as Gujarat, Mumbai, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu had a deep connection with this Haji Salim who was using them in some organized crime, or some terror activities continuously arrested by the NCB and ATS team. The drug cartels rely heavily on the local fishermen to smuggle and supply to the coastal borders of India. The Narcotics Control Bureau, which made several cases of heroin worth a huge number of crores in the past few months, found links to this Pakistani national backed by the ISI. The local court on December 20, 2022, granted Imran bail on payment of 5 million in local currency. Coastal lines of Tamil Nadu have always been a hub for illegal activities on drugs and the fact that Imran had managed to slip into this place is hardly surprising as he has a deep connection to the network here. Imran’s flee into Tamil Nadu shows a very favourable political support situation is seen behind the arrest of this criminal. No wonder Imran will definitely replace Madush’s role as a big player in the local drug mafia which is continuously alleged for involvement in drugs and arms smuggling activities. Our Investigation agencies and police forces are under surveillance to trace this dangerous suspect.
As these illicit drug traders usually operate in groups and networks, our forces need to integrate their work to build up more effective and efficient networks so that they can defeat the illegitimate networks that perpetuate so much destruction in our country and even throughout the world. Our societies are destroyed and young lives wrecked by drug addiction are more dangerous than an immediate enemy. Our government needs to develop solid strategies to prevent and disrupt these crimes. These hidden hands under the shadowy world are flying below the radar and need a Special ATS team for all states including Tamil Nadu to battle the menace. And also to protect the state’s internal security and restore harmony to our state.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies
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