Sri Lanka Tigers may move funds through Malaysia, Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels are believed to be channeling funds through Malaysia and Singapore to buy weapons in the region, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister said according to a report Wednesday. Mangala Samaraweera said in an interview with the New Straits Times that he had informed his Malaysian counterpart Syed Hamid Albar about the issue, and offered to share intelligence with security agencies here.

The Sri Lankan minister said his government had learned that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could be buying weapons with funds given by sympathisers and moved through bank accounts here and in Singapore.

He said this tied in with the fact that most of the rebels’ arms buying took place in Southeast Asia, particularly in Cambodia and Thailand.

“The Malaysian Thai and Cambodian governments are taking this very seriously,” he told the daily after a meeting here of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

He said Sri Lanka was trying to establish how the Tigers are moving money into Malaysia.

“The process of channelling funds raised in European Union nations and the United States to Malaysia and Singapore is rather complicated,” he said. “This is why we are seeking the coopera