Chandi Dharmaratne

THE HAGUE, April 26, 2010 (AFP) – Police arrested seven men in the Netherlands on Monday who are suspected of raising funds for Sri Lankan separatist group the Tamil Tigers, a statement said. “They are suspected of raising funds for the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) through collections, fundraisers, the sale of DVDs and calendars and illegal lotteries,” said a statement from the national police.

Investigators searched 16 homes and businesses in different towns and seized computers, telephones, photos, DVDs and a cash sum of more than 40,000 euros (53,000 dollars).

The group, whose nationalities could not be immediately confirmed, included a 45-year-old man from The Hague who is suspected of being the organisation’s main representative in the Netherlands, police said.

The LTTE was placed on a European Union list of terrorist organisations in 2006.

“Financial support of this banned organisation is an offence,” the police statement said. Those arrested could also face charges of membership of a criminal organisation.