Police probing the recovery of a large quantity of detonators at a bus stand in Thrissur suspect that the explosives were to be smuggled into Sri Lanka.
A gunny bag containing 10,000 detonators, placed in 100 boxes, was found at a bus stand on September 6. Two people were arrested in connection with the incident soon after.
It was the investigation into the dealings of Najeeb, one of those arrested, that helped police in unravelling the Sri Lankan connection. Kerala police conducted the probe along with the Tamil Nadu police.
"Najeeb used to take the detonators to Meenakshipuram in Tamil Nadu and hand it over to a person called Biji. From the description we got from Najeeb, we presume that this person, a Sri Lankan refugee, is a notorious criminal who has many criminal charges against him," Circle Inspector T.C. Venugopal of Thrissur East police station said Monday. Thrissur is 70 km north of Kochi.
Venugopal said Najeeb had been transporting detonators to Meenakshipuram for 10 months before being arrested.
"He had delivered around 150,000 detonators to Biji. These detonators are usually used in quarries but Najeeb says that these were purchased for fishing purposes. But we have reasons to suspect that the detonators were smuggled into Sri Lanka."
"We can't tell for sure who the end user is. For this we have to get Biji," said Venugopal.
Kerala police have also arrested another person, Hafiz, a license holder for dealing in detonators, who supplied detonators to Najeeb.