Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin rural police have arrested Gnanaraj Jebasingh, 38, and six of his accomplices after they hijacked a truck carrying 16.5 tonnes of cashew nuts meant for export to Tokyo from the Tuticorin port. Gnanaraj is the son of ST Chellapandian, former minister for Labour in the Jayalalithaa Cabinet (2011-2016).
The police said that a truck carrying 16.5 tonnes of cashew nuts worth Rs 1.2 crore was being transported from the factory at Killiyur in Kanniyakumari district and was heading towards Tuticorin port to be shipped to Tokyo. Gnanaraj and his accomplices, according to the police, had been following the truck since it left Kanniyakumari. When the truck reached Deivaseyalapuram, they intercepted it and abducted the driver Hari at knifepoint. The accused later drove away the truck.
The owner of the vehicle came to know that his consignment was hijacked and lodged a complaint at the Pudukkottai police station. Tuticorin police led by ASP Chandeesh chased the vehicle and found the driver Hari abandoned on the way.
The truck's nameplate was changed and the police found that an orange-coloured MUV had been following the truck since it left the Vasavapuram check post. The police team identified the number of the MUV, and found the number of its owner and tracked his mobile phone. The police then apprehended Gnanaraj at Namakkal at an eatery on November 27, Saturday morning.
The ASP, while speaking to the media, said that Gnanaraj claimed that they were innocent but later admitted to the crime. The truck was found 25 km away at a secluded place.