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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Drug Dealer Used in FBI Arms Sting

Toronto Sun: A supply of missiles and 500 AK-47s to be shipped to the Indian Ocean for the Tamil Tigers would have been bought and paid for yesterday if the arms dealer hadn't been a drug trafficker turned informant, the FBI says.

The informant at the centre of a massive weapons sting involving four Canadians was allowed to stay in the U.S. and get "financial assistance" from the FBI in return for turning informant.

The Canadians became involved July 30, when Nadarasa Yogarasa is allged to have called the FBI informant in the belief he had links to a "black market arms dealer."

The next day, Yogarasa and one of the Canadians, Sathajhan Sarachandran, are said to have met with the informant in New York. FBI documents say Sarachandran said his direction came from Pottu Amman, a Tiger leader in Sri Lanka.


Sarachandran is alleged to have told the informant the missiles to down Israeli-made Kfir fighter jets used by Sri Lankan forces. He said a "big guy" in Canada was Pottu Amman's "direct contact," the documents say.

The informant later is said to have told Sarachandran by e-mail the arms dealer could get Russian-made SA-18 missiles. He sent photographs of the missiles with his e-mail.

In an Aug. 8 e-mail to Sri Lanka, Sarachandran told a Pottu Amman aide it would cost $75,000 US for each "needle," the FBI alleges. On Aug. 15, Sarachandran told the informant the "big guy" in Canada had returned from Sri Lanka and had a weapons list, the documents say.

The Tamil Tigers were interested in 50 to 100 missiles, Sarachandran is alleged to have told the informant.

Four Canadians tried to cross the border last Friday night, the FBI says, but one -- a man whose name is blacked out in court documents -- was turned back because he had a criminal record.
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