Foreign investigation agencies such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Britain`s Scotland Yard have set up special units to crack down on Sri Lankans who are involved in financial crimes as most of the cases are connected to the funding of the LTTE.
There have been several reports by the FBI and Scotland Yard of Sri Lankans migrating to the US and UK and laundering money for the LTTE which is listed as a terrorist organisation.
The Sunday Times learns that now the FBI is keeping a close watch on Sri Lankans who use their credit card to purchase goods worth over US $150 since there have been several cases in the US where the LTTE had purchased several items from stolen credit cards and forged credit cards. These items range from laptop computers, electronic items and even material to make explosives. The Sunday Times also learns that there had been over 200 such cases during last year alone and most of them had not been taken into serious consideration since the US had mainly focused its attention on terror organisations the US is waging war against.
The recent focus on the LTTE came after Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera`s visit to the US where he had talks with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
However LTTE gangs in the UK are thriving and there have been reports where some LTTE members had been extorting money from Tamil expatriates who had migrated to the UK due to the ethnic conflict. There have been several reports filed in Scotland Yard where the LTTE had torched houses and caused damage to property belonging to Sri Lankan Tamils in the UK when they refused to fund the organisation. The move to have a specialised unit to crack down on LTTE gangs involved in several crimes during the past in London came in the wake of the arrest of six former LTTE cadres in East London when Scotland Yard in a special operation raided the house they were living in. The police found several computer hardware devices as well as fourteen stolen credit cards and six forged ones.
However Sri Lanka`s Interpol sources told The Sunday Times that even though the LTTE carries out several financial crimes Sri Lanka is not advanced enough to track them down.
Central Bank authorities have suggested having a Financial Investigation Unit, which will work in collaboration with Interpol and other international investigation organisations to reduce financial crimes and to freeze the funding of terrorist organisations such as the LTTE.