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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam > USD200 million profit margins maintain sophisticated Tamil Tiger war - Jane's Intelligence Review, 19 July 2007

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

USD200 million profit margins
maintain sophisticated Tamil Tiger war

Janes Intelligence Review: Press Release, 19 July 2007

[see also Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview on Jane's Intelligence Report on LTTE, 25 July 2007]

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has created one of the most sophisticated insurgencies in the world, largely due to a complex global network of financial resources and weapons that are integral to prolonging its campaign for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.

In a unique report on the financial operations of the LTTE, Jane's Intelligence Review reports that with financial and procurement structures well organised and strategically positioned around the globe, the group has a profit margin that would be the envy of any multinational corporation - some USD200 to 300 million per year.

The Tamil Tigers is consequently the only known insurgent organisation with its own army, navy and now even a rudimentary air force, with access to financial resources and weapons giving it the luxury of introducing bold, new dimensions to the conflict.

The report details two overarching financial and procurement bodies that provide the main source of LTTE money, manpower and weapons; the Aiyanna Group and the Office of Overseas Purchases (nicknamed the KP Department).

The Aiyanna Group functions as the group's intelligence and operations body, likely to be responsible for monitoring and ensuring the organisation's financial support and revenue streams, while the KP Department is most probably the LTTE's procurement arm.

In addition, the LTTE creates and staffs some charitable organisations, projecting its influence through this front to raise money from Tamil communities and, ultimately, convert the gains into arms.

The Jane's Intelligence Review report says that the system works as an efficient way to move funds wherever investment or procurement opportunities arise while utilising a charitable façade's tax-free status and legitimacy.

Geographically, the LTTE use a myriad of methods to maintain this formidable, non-state support structure. The southern province of Tamil Nadu in India plays a pivotal role in LTTE procurement and has become an essential transit point in the LTTE arms, narcotics, contraband and possibly human smuggling.

Beyond Sri Lanka's neighbour, Cambodia is one of the most significant single sources of weapons for the insurgent group. The remainder of internationally procured weapons are believed to originate from the rest of Southeast Asia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Ukraine.

The report adds that the procurement of anti-aircraft technology, given the destruction wrought by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces' aerial assets, will be the primary driver of the LTTE's continued international fundraising campaign. (ENDS)

Editor's notes: To speak to Jane's Intelligence Review or for a full copy of the report as it will appear in next month's edition, please contact Leah Turner, Press and PR Officer, on +44 (0) 208 700 3922 or email [email protected]

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