June 24, Colombo: During a search operation carried out in the western seas on Thursday (23) Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 35 Sri Lankans illegally sailing for Australia in a multi-day trawler.
In the search operation mounted in seas off Panadura, in the evening of 23rd June 2022, the Navy intercepted a suspicious local multiday fishing trawler carrying 35 persons who were suspected to be attempting to illegally migrate from the island to Australia.
Among the apprehended individuals were 25 males including 05 persons involved in this racket, 04 females and 06 children.
Along with the suspects, the fishing vessel used for this illegal act was also held by the Navy.
Further inspections revealed that the multi-day trawler had a mechanical failure in its engine and the vessel was unsuitable for long voyages.
The suspects held in this operation are residents of Trincomalee, Mannar, Batticaloa, Negombo, Kalpitiya and Nuwara Eliya areas, aged 06 to 56.
The suspects were handed over to the Colombo Harbor Police for onward legal proceedings.
The Navy urges the public to refrain from risking their lives and property by being caught in the trap of smugglers who persuades to engage in illegal and perilous sea voyages in derelict vessels to migrate from the island.