ICG launches search to retrieve unknown consignment

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Ramanathapuram, Apr 24 (UNI) The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) began a massive mid-sea operation to retrieve an unknown consignment dropped by smugglers in the sea off Mandapam coast today.

Official sources said the unknown consignment, while being smuggled to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu in a clandestine boat was dropped into the sea, since the boat was about to drown due to overweight, late last night.

On a tip off, a team from State Q Branch, Chennai, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police Sankar Jiwal, rushed to Ramanathapuram this morning and held discussions with the officials of the ICG, Mandapam station.

Though their mission was kept a secret, reliable sources told UNI the Q Branch was suspecting that the consignment could either be explosives or arms, meant for the LTTE.

The LTTE militants were facing an arms crunch in view of the ongoing fierce war with the Sri Lankan Army. Hence, the LTTE was attempting to procure arms and ammunitions through their agents.

A hovercraft of the ICG was engaged in the mission to retrieve the consignment with the assistance of local fishermen, who were experts in deep diving, the sources added.

UNI GSM DS SBC HT2112

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