Thai police deny Tamil Tiger leader held in Bangkok

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police said on Wednesday there was no truth to reports triggered by an allegation on a Sri Lankan government Web site that a top Tamil Tiger leader had been arrested in Bangkok.

“I’ve checked with related police bureaux -- the Immigration Police, the Metropolitan Police and the Special Branch. There has been no report of a Tiger rebel arrested in Bangkok,” national police spokesman Lieutenant-General Ronnarong Youngyuen said.

“If we’d arrested him, we would have made good publicity out of it,” Ronnarong told Reuters.

The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry site at said “reliable sources from Thailand reveal that LTTE’s chief for cross-border terrorist activities, Kumaran Padmanadan, alias “KP”, has been arrested in Bangkok”.

KP was described as finance chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

Ronnarong said Thai immigration police had no record of him entering Thailand through legal channels.

He also denied reports that his alleged arrest followed the detention of three Tamil Tiger operatives trying to buy guns and 45,000 rounds of ammunition in Thailand’s southern coastal province of Ranong last month.

But Ronnarong said Thai police did hand over three Tamil Tigers to Sri Lanka last month after the rebels served jail terms for arms smuggling following their arrest four years ago.