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* Sri Lanka police arrests another batch of illegal migrants planning to go to Australia
Thu, Mar 4, 2010, 07:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka police today arrested another group of would-be illegal migrants from the Eastern Province, said police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody.

The group comprised 21 persons, the majority of them ethnic Tamils, the police said. The suspects were in an isolated house in the coastal area of Nawaladi in Batticaloa district, when a special police team raided the place.

Police recovered naval maps, compasses, communication equipment, and dry rations sufficient for several months in their possession. Police also took a van parked near the house. The van is suspected to have been used to transport the illegal migrants.

The arrested persons are from Chilaw and Batticaloa areas. They are suspected to be readying to sail towards Australia.

The eastern coast of the island has become a hub for illegal migrants who attempt to migrate to the countries like Australia and New Zealand by sea in converted fishing crafts.

These journeys have been extremely hazardous and a number of boats had capsized in recent past drowning several migrants. Some other refugee boats have been taken into custody by Australia and Indonesia.

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