Another 47 individuals who were attempting to leave for Australia illegally, have been detained by the Sri Lanka Navy in seas off Negombo.
Sri Lanka Navy had apprehended the group while travelling in a multi-day fishing trawler during a special operation last evening.
Accordingly, 34 males including five smugglers, six females and seven children have been taken into custody.
Navy said they are aged between one and 50 years and residents of Wennappuwa, Nattandiya, Chilaw, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, and Batticaloa.
The group has been handed over to the Colombo Harbour Police for further action.
The Navy urges the public to avoid being convicted before the law by being caught in the trap of smugglers who organize this nature of perilous voyages to earn a fast buck. Since the Australia’s borders are closed to illegal maritime migration, such individuals will be detained and deported immediately, thus depriving them of the opportunity to legally immigrate to Australia in the future.