150 Sri Lankans caught on illegal trip to Australia
Kollam, June 4 (IANS) Some 150 Sri Lankans were caught following an aborted attempt to reach Australia on a boat from here, police said Monday.
According to police, some locals got suspicious when they spotted about half a dozen Sri Lankans waiting near a boat. When the police questioned them they revealed that they were waiting for a boat to Australia.
The efforts of the coastal police Sunday night helped track down the boat, Kollam Assistant Superindent of Police Thomson Jose told IANS.
"The boat has now been confiscated and the 150 Sri Lankan nationals, who include 16 women and 22 children, are put up at the police camp since last (Sunday) night," said Jose.
According to Jose, when the coastal police caught up with the boat in the deep seas, its driver and two others jumped off and swam away.
"Preliminary inquiries reveal that most of them were refugees at various camps in Tamil Nadu, while some of them were originally from Sri Lanka. After ascertaining the real status of these people, with the help of the court, we will send them back to the refugee camps," added Jose.
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