Navy nabs 85 individuals suspected to be attempting to illegally migrate from island, in eastern waters
Sri Lanka Navy took hold of a local multiday fishing trawler carrying 85 individuals, suspected to be a group on an illegal migration attempt to a foreign country via sea, during a patrol conducted off Batticaloa in the wee hours of (11th September 2022).
Sri Lanka Navy has been conducting regular search operations and patrols covering the sea and coastal areas around the island with the aim of suppressing illegal migration and other forms of illegal activities. In a similar effort, SLNS Ranawickrama attached to the Eastern Naval Command made this interception having spotted a suspicious local multiday fishing trawler, during a patrol off Batticaloa today. Subsequent search of the trawler led to the apprehension of 85 individuals who were suspected to be on an illegal migration attempt to a foreign country via sea. Among the apprehended individuals were; 60 males including the boat operators and 14 females who are over 18 years of age and 11 other individuals below 18 years of age. The Navy also held the multiday fishing trawler used for this illegal sea voyage.
The suspects held were identified as residents of Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Muthur, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Madu. The group of would-be illegal immigrants and the multiday fishing trawler is currently being brought to the Trincomalee Harbour and they will be handed over to the Trincomalee Harbour Police for onward legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, a search operation carried out in Mohoththiwaram beach area by the Navy with Police STF led to the apprehension of 05 suspects and 04 dinghies which were suspected to have used to transfer people to the multiday fishing trawler seized by SLNS Ranawickrama. Those suspects and their dinghies were handed over to the Kaththankudi Police for onward legal action.
As it is observed that human smugglers organize this nature of rackets using unsafe methods for the purpose of making fast money, the Navy urges the public to refrain from risking their lives by engaging in perilous sea voyages and be victims before the law.