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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

LTTE credit card crooks sent to jail in Norway

Oslo, 28 April, ( Six LTTE agents operating a credit card scam were sentenced to serve prison terms today by the Norwegian courts. They were convicted of skimming more than 5.3 million Norwegian kroners.

The main criminal convicted in this credit card scam, Satrubarajah Shanamugarajah (RUBY), was sentenced to five years and six months prison. Five other defendants were sentenced to 15 to 18 months. The other defendants received sentences from 75 days to five months imprisonment.

The LTTE credit card fraud case in Oslo is only the tip of the iceberg. Investigators have established that Norway is only one link in the chain of LTTE cells operating this scam in Canada, England, Germany and Sweden. Last week BBC exposed the credit card skimming operated by the LTTE agents running petrol stations in UK.

The accused charged in the Norwegian credit card fraud case are:

Selvakumar Yogananthan (VINO),

Babar Hussein (plead guilty to skimming credit cards)

Roy Roger Hagen (Board of Director Tangenten Restaurant)

Satrubarajah Shanamugarajah (RUBY)

Mohammad Walayat

Karamat Hussain

Ahmad Waqar

Rahim Kahn

Kajamugan Parmeswaran

Mohammad Zubair

Sureswaran Thurasingam

Shehzad Kamal

Bharat Duggal

Theepakanth Aiyathurai

Sriranjan Siveswaran

Mohammed Kanaan.

The investigation of the LTTE crime gang began after Customs officers Øystein Kilde and Nils Kenneth Brustad found suspicious chocolate boxes "After Eight" and "Sphinx" in luggage belonging to Selvakumar Yoganathan. He and Rahim Kahn were booked on flight KLM 1142 from Amsterdam to Lebanon. After a search Customs officers found an illegal amount of cash and 43 debit cards of the type TRUMP. These cards can be programmed to operate as VISA, Master Cards and American Express Cards by using information collected from other LTTE cells. The cards produced in the Oslo case had information skimmed from petrol stations in England and Canada.

Ruby ,who is the "main man" according to the police, pleaded guilty to most of the charges. He told the courts that he has been ordered to commit these crimes by "Murelli", an LTTE figure who is located in London. RUBY provided the police with a name of a restaurant in London where to find "Murelli" but the description was not sufficient for the police to take further action.

The investigation of this case has been made by the Gardermoen airport police. The investigation was headed by Police officer Jon Haldorersen who has been commended for cracking this case with limited resources. It is believed that the Police could have done a more thorough job of catching the wide net of LTTE agents if they were given more resources.

Ø The police investigations led to the home of Ruby. After searching his home they found the keys to apartment number 507 at the Ullevål hospital. There the Norwegian Police found two skimming scanners, 320 credit cards. One of the skimmer has been used in Taxi number A4309, belonging two defendants Babar Hussein brother. Hussein has confessed he participated in the crimes.

According to Simon Peter Wein, Security officer in American Express, Sri Lankans (read LTTE) is hand in glove with Nigerians in running this credit card scam. Their scam has caused a headache to the Company.

Ø The LTTE fraud in Norway reveals the LTTE close links with the Norwegian underworld and criminal gangs. RUBY has been threatened inside Ullersmo State Prision not to reveal information about Anthonios Pizzeria by the A-gang. Other of the defendants are also known figures in the "Under World" in Oslo. In order to cover up their crimes they where able to get Norwegian companies to manufacture fake invoices. In the case of Anthonios Pizzeria they were able to get the manager of "Furuseth Engros" to fake invoice number 117824 and 118369. After a police inspection the manager Eivind Finstad confessed he had faked the invoices.

Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) is concerned that the Norwegian authorities had not launched a broader international investigation into this credit scam operated by internationally banned terrorists. The LTTE fraud is a huge problem for the police in Canada and in most European Countries. In UK Police are scanning the receipts issued by LTTE agents operating petrol stations.

NAT says that the Norwegian authorities are yet to investigate the other big scandal of the missing passports that have gone into the hands of the LTTE. Norwegian Police have admitted to selling passport to the LTTE. The scope of the passport scandal is unknown since the police have done their utmost to cover up the scandal.

Ø Interpol director Mr. Noble says more than 132.000 Norwegian passports are reported missing. The Norwegian intelligence services say that only 95.000 passports are reported missing.

Ø The international intelligence community suspects that the LTTE has sold Norwegian passports to other terrorist organizations. This scandal has also devalued the integrity of the Norwegian passports internationally.

The credit card scam is seen as another PR disaster for Erik Solheim, the failed peace facilitator, who had stood up for the LTTE agents in Norway. He had backed the LTTE all the way and used significant amounts of Norwegian tax payers' funds to portray the LTTE as peace-loving and law-abiding citizens of the world.

In Norway, he hobnobs mainly with the pro-LTTE Tamils and ignores the cry of anti-LTTE Tamils seeking the protection of the Norwegian government. These crimes, however, has exposed him as a failed "facilitator" both at home and abroad.

- Asian Tribune -

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