3 detained for dropping smuggled consignment into sea

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Ramanathapuram, Apr 25 (UNI) Sleuths of state Intelligence Wing police detained three persons, who were suspected to have dropped an unknown 'consignment' into the sea while smuggling it to Sri Lanka, even as the massive joint operation by Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to retrieve it had entered fifth day today.

Police sources said the smugglers dropped the unknown consignment into the sea near Hair Islands off Mandapam coast on April 23, while being smuggled from Tamil Nadu in a clandestine boat, since the boat was about to drown due to overweight.

Police are interrogating the trio to know the exact contents of the consignment.

A special team from state Q-Branch, Chennai, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police Sankar Jiwal was camping here to oversee the retrieval operation.

The intelligence officials suspect the consignment to contain explosives or chemicals meant for manufacturing bombs, meant for the LTTE.

Naval divers and local fishermen were still searching for the consignment. The divers made no breakthrough, since the exact location at which the consignment was dropped by the smugglers into sea was yet to be identified, the sources added.

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