Aug 21, Negombo: Sri Lanka Navy on Tuesday prevented another illegal migration attempt to Australia and detained 69 would-be asylum seekers.
A Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command of Sri Lanka Navy intercepted the multi-day fishing trawler carrying the 69 people onboard in the seas off Western coastal town of Negombo in the early hours of today.
The arrested persons included 48 Tamils, 19 Sinhalese and 2 Muslims. They are residents of Negombo, Pulmoddai, Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna, Vishvamadu and Batticaloa, the Navy said.
The detainees have been escorted to Modera Fisheries Harbor to be handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigations.
With today's arrest Sri Lanka Navy has arrested over 1,000 Australia-bound illegal immigrants this year.
Australia's parliament last week passed legislation to send asylum-seekers arriving by boat to holding centers on Pacific islands of Papua New Guinea and Nauru before considering their application for refugee status.