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"Peg Leg Shankar" wanted by Interpol

31 March 2011 02:45 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for a British man accused of running the human smuggling network that sent 76 Sri Lankans to Canada aboard a cargo ship in 2009. Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran, 40, is wanted by Sri Lankan authorities for "people smuggling, trafficking and illegal immigration" as well as "terrorism," according to the Interpol website.

While the public Interpol notice is vague, classified details of the allegations obtained by the National Post show he is wanted in connection with the human smuggling vessel Ocean Lady. A confidential Sri Lankan government report says Mr. Kanthaskaran, also known as "Peg Leg Shankar," was born in Sri Lanka, holds a British passport and operates from the U.K., Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

"The subject has established an effective network covering South Asian countries to run the human smuggling operations," it says, adding he organized the Ocean Lady smuggling run with a Canadian named Ravi Shanker. According to the report, Mr. Kanthaskaran was a member of the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the Tamil Tigers rebels.

After his leg was amputated following a clash with government forces, he moved to London, where he was allegedly involved in procurement. Using a ship called the Princess Easwary, he smuggled weapons to Sri Lanka from North Korea, the report says.

The ship was transporting military hardware to the island in May 2009 when the civil war ended, it says. After hearing that Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead, the ship's crew dumped their cargo into the waters off Indonesia. Mr. Kanthasakaran then began organizing a human smuggling voyage to Canada, it says.

The ship, which was registered in Cambodia, changed its name to Ocean Lady and sailed from India with a stop in Malaysia, arriving off the British Columbia coast in October 2009 carrying 76 Sri Lankans. All have claimed refugee status.

Ten months later, a larger ship, the MV Sun Sea, reached Canada from Thailand carrying 492 Sri Lankans. Mr. Kanthaskaran's alleged involvement in human smuggling may explain why Canadian officials such as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews have linked the ships to the Tamil Tigers.

The Immigration and Refugee Board has so far ordered the deportation of two of those on board the Sun Sea on the grounds they had been Sea Tigers. But the RCMP remains uncertain whether the smuggling ships were a rebel operation (perhaps to raise money for the cause, or to relocate members and their families to Canada) or whether remnants of the rebel group were simply fleeing the region following their defeat.


nationalpost.com

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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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