Four Nigerians and two Sri Lankans were arrested by the Navy when attempting to emigrate to India illegally via the northern seas of Sri Lanka.
The Navy said the suspects were arrested by naval personnel attached to a coastal patrol vessel (CPV), during their patrol to curb illegal smuggling attempts in the territorial waters of the island.
According to the Navy, the CPV on patrol had spotted the suspicious trawler in the seas about 12 nautical miles north of Talaimannar lighthouse. The Nigerian emigrants, with two Sri Lankans aboard, were heading to India during the time of the raid. Subsequently, the suspects were brought to Talaimannar. Investigations revealed that the Nigerians are aged between 26 and 42 while the Sri Lankans, who were residents of Pesalai area in Mannar, are aged 20 and 23.
The arrested suspects along with the trawler were handed over to Talaimannar Police for further investigation. The Navy said illegal activities including immigration and emigration attempts have been restrained due to continuous naval patrol out at sea and along the coastal line. (Darshana Sanjeewa)