BERLIN, March 5, 2010 (AFP) – German authorities said Friday that police have arrested six people suspected of raising funds for the Sri Lankan separatist group the Tamil Tigers. The German and Sri Lankan nationals aged between 22 and 58 were arrested on Wednesday in raids on eight premises including the Tamil Coordination Committee (TCC) in Oberhausen near Essen, federal prosecutors said.

The TCC raises money, sometimes through blackmail, from Tamils living in Germany which is then passed to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, classified as a banned terrorist organisation by the European Union in 2006, a statement said. Among those arrested were Sri Lankan national Vijikanendra V. S., 34, the suspected head of the TCC in Germany.