Navy arrests 78 Australia-bound boatpeople
June 26, 2015 02:38 pm
A group of 78 Sri Lankan nationals attempting to illegally sail to Australia by boat were intercepted by Navy personnel in the sea area around 65 nautical miles off Kirinda in the wee hours today, the navy spokesman said.
Commander Indika Silva said that the suspects, arrested at around 12.30am today, included 59 Tamils and 17 Sinhalese while the other 2 were the boat’s crew.
The group is being escorted to the Galle Port to be handed over to relevant authorities, he said.
The arrest comes after a long absence of such illegal sea voyages in search of asylum in Australia.