Navy nabs 51 persons in eastern waters, while attempting to illegally migrate from island

A search operation carried out by the Navy in the eastern seas this morning (03rd July 2022) led to the seizure of a local multiday fishing trawler carrying 51 persons, who are suspected to be on an illegal migration attempt to a foreign country via sea.

The Navy conducts regular operations covering the sea and coastal areas around the island with the aim of suppressing illegal migration and other forms of illegal activities. In the search operation mounted in the seas off Trincomalee this morning, the Eastern Naval Command managed to intercept a suspicious local multiday fishing trawler carrying this group of people who were suspected to be attempting to illegally migrate from the island. Among the apprehended individuals were 41 males including 06 persons involved in this racket, 05 females and 05 children. Along with the suspects, the fishing vessel used for this illegal act was also held by the Navy.

The suspects held in this operation are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Gampaha and Ratnapura, who are from 05 to 56 years of age. They will be handed over to the Trincomalee Harbour Police for onward legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, a coordinated operation mounted by the Navy, Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Police in Marawila on 02nd July 2022, made way to the apprehension of 24 individuals, who are suspected to be illegal immigrants. They were apprehended while staying at a lodge in the locality, awaiting to migrate from the island by sea. The group consisted of 08 males, 06 females and 10 children. Further, the raiding party also nabbed the lodgekeeper who provided accommodation for the group. The apprehended individuals who are from 03 months to 50 years of age, were identified as residents of Batticaloa, Valaichchenai and Chilaw areas. They were handed over to the Marawila Police for onward legal action.

For the purpose of making fast money, smugglers cheat the innocent and organize this kind of unethical enterprise using unsafe vessels. As such, Navy urges the public to refrain from risking their lives by engaging in perilous sea voyages and be victims before the law.