Two suspected members of Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebel group were Tuesday arrested in Australia and charged with funnelling money to a terrorist organisation, police said.
The men, 32 and 36, were arrested in anti-terrorism raids in Melbourne and were expected to appear in court later Tuesday accused of supporting the guerrillas who are fighting Sri Lanka's government.
"It will be alleged in court that these men are members of an organisation engaging in terrorist activity overseas and they have been providing active, material support to that group," said Australian Federal Police Counter Terrorism Manager Frank Prendergast.
But he stressed that the men's alleged support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) posed no terror threat to Australia. Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said police would allege the men actively raised funds with the knowledge some of the money would be diverted to fund Tiger operations in Sri Lanka. The men were charged with being members of a terrorist organisation, providing support to a terrorist organisation and intentionally receiving funds from or making funds available to a terrorist organisation. Each faces a maximum of 25 years in jail.