May 26, Petaling Jaya: The Malaysian police following the arrest of three members of Sri Lanka's defunct Tamil terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have launched an operation to hunt down more members of the group, Malaysian media reported.
Malaysia's Counter Terrorism Division of the police's Special Branch on May 15arrested three men suspected to be members of LTTE in multiple raids in Petaling Jaya and Klang, Selangor.
Following the arrest the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division of Malaysian police is hunting down more suspected members of LTTE who are believed to be hiding in the country.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the arrested men had been in Malaysia since 2004 after entering the country illegally.
Initial investigations have found that the suspects had used Malaysia as a base to collect data and spread propaganda, while trying to revive the defunct LTTE terrorist group at the international level.
Khalid said all suspects were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and used UNHCR cards to stay in the country and to avoid legal action by the local authorities.
The official said the police would work closely with the UNHCR Office to ensure that terrorists would not exploit and abuse the UNHCR cards to turn Malaysia as their operation base or to carry out terrorism activities, which could pose threats to Malaysia or other countries.
Meanwhile, the UNHCR has promised to perform a close and full examination of all facts following the detention of the LTTE members who possessed the UNHCR cards.
"Given the seriousness of these issues, a close and full examination of all facts would need to be undertaken," UNHCR spokesperson Yante Ismail has said.
The spokesperson has said that the agency cannot comment specifically on the case as it is their policy everywhere in the world not to publicly discuss individual cases.
However, if there are allegations of crimes committed in Malaysia by refugees or asylum-seekers, UNHCR would expect that they would be subject to the full due process under law like any other person, Ismail has said.
The police official said the suspected terrorists have "assimilated themselves well" in Malaysia, including holding regular jobs.
Since 2009 Malaysian police had detained eight LTTE members, including a man believed to be the second in command of the group and all have been deported to Sri Lanka to face prosecution for terrorist acts.