The Sri Lanka Navy has seized a local multiday fishing trawler with 47 persons, suspected to be on an illegal migration attempt to Australia via sea.
The group was arrested during a search operation carried out by the Navy on the Western seas off Negombo last night (27).
The Navy said SLNS Nandimithra managed to intercept a suspicious local multiday fishing trawler carrying this group of people who were suspected to be attempting to illegally migrate to Australia.
Among the apprehended individuals were 34 males including 05 persons involved in this racket, 06 females, and 07 children. Along with the suspects, the fishing vessel used for this illegal act was also held by the Navy.
The arrested suspects are residents of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Wennappuwa, Nattandiya, Chilaw, and Batticaloa, and are from 01 to 50 years of age.
The Navy said they will be handed over to the Colombo Harbour Police for further legal proceedings.
The Sri Lanka Navy has urged the public to avoid being convicted before the law by being caught in the trap of smugglers who organize such perilous voyages to earn fast money.
They further warned that since Australia’s borders are closed to illegal maritime migration, such individuals will be detained and deported immediately, thus depriving them of the opportunity to legally immigrate to Australia in the future. (NewsWire)