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Authorities Seek Interpol Help After Breaking Up Trafficking Ring

Cambodian police said Tuesday they had broken up a human trafficking ring in August, but three foreigners who were arrested have already been extradited and four ringleaders had eluded capture.

The international human smuggling racket would have moved more than 200 people from Pakistan and Sri Lanka through Cambodia en route to other countries, police said.

Police extradited two men, Thanga Veluram and Thanga Velusarawanachathes, to Sri Lanka and one man, Mohammed Nurula, to Pakistan, in September, following their arrest in late August, a human rights official said Tuesday.

Cambodia meanwhile hoped to enlist Interpol in its search for four leaders of the trafficking ring, police spokesman Maj. Gen. Chhay Sinarith said.

Cambodia was seeking two men from Sri Lanka and two from Pakistan in connection to the smuggling racket, he said.

Chhay Sinarith named the Sri Lankans as Mariam Pillai Lerin Ranni, who owned the Curry Leaf restaurant in Phnom Penh, and his brother, Lipton Lerin, and the Pakistanis as Muhhamad Nadim, who ran the Taj Mahal restaurant in Siem Reap, and a man known only as Gamini, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The two Sri Lankans named by AP were members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, a security expert in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday.

An Interpol spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency was seeking further information from its Cambodian office on whether an official request had been filed there.

In the 1990s, Cambodia was a major source of weapons for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, who fund their insurgency against the Sri Lankan government in part with profits from human trafficking.