(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – An Indian fishing boat transferring thirty Myanmarese; including 16 children, 07 women and 07 men were apprehended on Sunday (30) around 10.00 am, by a Sri Lanka Coast Guard craft on routine patrol in the Northern waters.
On detecting a suspicious boat movement crossing the IMBL into the Sri Lankan territorial waters, the SLCG patrol craft had approached the boat for further investigation, where it had become apparent that there were unusually large number of individuals on-board including women and proved substantive that the boat was allegedly involved in a illegal immigrant attempt.
The boat on being arrested was subsequently guided to the Kankasanthurai harbour for further investigations. Further, it was revealed that two toddlers, aged fifteen days and 4 months were also among the children on-board the arrested Indian fishing boat. Two Indian fishermen allegedly involved in the human smuggling bid were also among the suspects arrested.
The suspects including the children were provided with essential medical screening by the Sri Lanka Navy medics.
Upon handing over the suspects to the Kankasanthurei police, they were produce in Mallakam Magistrate court for onward legal action.
Since, February 2013 to date SLN and SLCG have rescued 268 illicit immigrants off the Sri Lankan waters, in which around 45% constitute ‘Rohingyas’ (Myanmar Nationals). Earlier, in 2013 a boat (Bhai Bhai – S) carrying 88 ‘Rohingyas’ were rescued by the Navy off the Oluvil harbour.