Fifty-Seven Sri Lankans, who had illegally slipped out of refugee camps in various parts of Tamil Nadu, were arrested in Masinagudi town in the Nilgiris district yesterday, The Times of India reported.
A day after a refugee smuggling racket was busted in Tiruchi, the Q branch Police gathered a group of refugees, including 15 from the camp at Puzhal near Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu.
Police said the refugees had paid Rs 50,000 each to an agent to go to Australia. However, as the agent could not arrange for their visas in time, his associates had brought the group to Ooty on a "pleasure trip".
"There seems to be a huge network involved in this human smuggling. It is a matter for thorough investigation," Nilgiris SP S Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar said. The Sri Lankan refugees, including 11 women and 11 children, were found wandering in and around Gudalur taluk yesterday. The refugees were reported to be staying in a community hall in Manavala near Masinagudi for the last few days.