Most wanted human trafficker held

The Times of India on March 21, 2012 released the following:

“A Selvaraj, TNN

CHENNAI: A city-based racketeer, wanted by Interpol for trafficking youths and women to Australia by ferry, was arrested near Nagapattinam on Sunday.

Acting on a tip-off, ‘Q’ branch police laid a trap and nabbed ‘Italy’ A Rajan alias Rajan alias Soundararajan, 43, a native of Jaffna in Sri Lanka, from a hideout in Nagapattinam. A satellite phone was seized from him and Rajan was remanded in prison. A hunt is on for his associates.

Rajan told police that he and his associate, identified by police as Dayalan of Colombo, regularly sent migrants, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils, to Australia after collecting Rs 3 lakh from each. A sum of Rs 1 lakh would be given to the broker bringing a migrant to Rajan.

Rajan, who had links with Kerala fishermen, “would buy an old trawler or mechanized fishing boat at a cheap price and then modify it to house migrants,” a police officer said.

Each ferry, carrying 30-40 people, reached Christmas Island, 800 km from Australia and under Canberra’s control, after a journey of 15 days. “It carried 3,000 litres of diesel and 2,000 litres of drinking water, rice and vegetables and the migrants bathed in sea water,” a police officer said.

On entering Australian waters, the ferry would be taken to Christmas Island and the people in it admitted to a special camp. After a thorough check, they would be flown to an Australian city and granted Australian citizenship after a while. Most landed jobs that paid at least $1,500 (Australian) a month, police said based on Rajan’s confession.

Sources said Rajan, a Class 8 dropout, left Maamunai in Jaffna for Italy at age 10 to work as a servant and returned home after the December 26, 2004 tsunami. He met Dayalan, who was involved in the human trafficking racket, and joined the racket.

Rajan was then arrested and booked by the Colombo police for indulging in human trafficking. He escaped and stayed for some time in Jaffna and came to Trichy in Tamil Nadu and stayed in a refugee camp where he married a Sri Lankan woman named Yamuna. He soon moved to Chennai and was continuing the racket from here when the Colombo police, still on his trail, got a red corner notice issued by Interpol to trace Rajan. He again moved south, to Nagapattinam where he was finally caught.”

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