Interrogation revealed that he had served 10 years in a Sri Lankan jail after arrested for drug trafficking. The seized drug was worth Rs. 50 lakh in the international market. Balan who arrived at Madurai by flight from Colombo on May 24 was helped by a local Tamil to stay in the Avanathankottai village. The police identified the accused as T. Gowri Balan (43) of Paranthan in Kilinochchi. He had received the drug from a smuggler in Bangalore early this month and reached Danushkodi before staying at Avanathankottai near Aranthangi for a week. Acting on the directions of Sivadoss and Baskaran, drug traffickers in Sri Lanka, he went to Bangalore and collected the contraband from a smuggler from Mumbai.Balan, who was overstaying after his visa expired on June 29, told the police that he was engaged by the smugglers for a payment of Rs. 1.5 lakh. India’s Ramanathapuram district unit of Organised Crime Intelligence (OCI) arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil, who was a members of the now-defunct People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), when he attempted to smuggle 500 gm of heroin near Kothandaramar temple in Danushkodi.Acting on a tip-off, two teams from the unit detained him when he was waiting at the shore to hand over the contraband to a boatman to smuggle it to Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Hackney taxi drivers have been banned from wearing jeans and t-shirts after a local council received complaints from cabbies “that other drivers were letting them down.” Cab drivers in Plymouth are now banned from wearing denim jeans, football tops, hoodies and flip flops following a public consultation and council meeting on the issue. Councillors agreed on Monday that the new guidelines should be enforced to “professionalise the trade” following complaints from fellow drivers.A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: “There was already a dress code but it was voluntary and not followed by all drivers. Our licensing officers would regularly find this during their patrols and often received complaints from drivers that other drivers were letting them down. “Officers and councillors agreed to include a new dress code within the proposals to set clearer standards on this.” “But I do think there needs to be a balance, I have been a taxi driver for 18 years and wear black jeans because they are practical, I don’t want to change a tire in smart trousers.” Councillor Ian Bowyer added: “We [councillors] had noticed a change in the appearance of drivers and I think it is important to professionalise the trade and strike a balance. Yesterday councillors welcomed the decision which was branded as an important step for the upcoming Mayflower 400 celebration in 2020.The event, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts, is expected to draw in crowds from around the world to Plymouth. Councillor Sally Bowie said: “This change in regulations was brought in by the council as a way to smarten the appearance of taxi drivers before the Mayflower 400. “We felt it was the right time to bring in these changes and I think most people do feel safer and prefer to have a taxi driver who is wearing trousers and a polo shirt rather than shorts and flip-flops. “The Mayflower is a big event in Plymouth and we want to ensure Plymouth is looking its best.” The dress code ban is less restrictive than one originally proposed which could have included drivers having to wear uniform colours laid out by the councilCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The dress code ban is less restrictive than one originally proposed which could have forced drivers to wear uniform colours laid out by the council.The decision to ban jeans has however received mixed reviews from local cab drivers, with some raising concerns over the cost of new clothing, but others agreed that some drivers looked “awful” at work. Shane Jacobs, director of Plymouth hackney cab company Tri-star taxis, said: “I think some drivers are bringing down the reputation of the industry and they look like they’ve just crawled out of bed and it looks awful. “We want to put forward a good image of Plymouth and this is a step towards achieving this. Especially with the Mayflower 400 in 2020 these drivers will be at the forefront of welcoming visitors and we want to ensure the right image is put forward.”In addition to the new dress code each driver must attend an ambassador course as well as complete a spoken English test and are also banned from using e-cigarettes while they have passengers on board.A Council spokesperson added: “The new policy aims to enhance the professionalism of the service and ensure drivers are ambassadors for Plymouth, presenting a positive image to the public and our visitors.” The council received complaints from drivers that other drivers were letting them downCredit:Getty