Sri Lanka busts people-smuggling ring, 100 held

Sri Lankan police said Monday they had busted a people-smuggling ring and arrested 113 men who were preparing to board a trawler heading for Australia.

The Sri Lankans were arrested as they were being transported in seven vans and a truck to board the boat for an illegal and dangerous journey that cost them an estimated $2,000 each, police said.

Six people operating the racket were arrested during the raid in the capital Colombo early Monday morning, which came after a tip-off from an informer.

"Our information is that over 150 people had signed up for this particular journey," police fraud bureau director J.K. Mark told AFP. "They were to go in a boat meant to carry only seven people and spend a couple of weeks at sea."

A senior naval official told AFP that authorities expected an increase in illegal boat operations from Sri Lanka to Australia after an Australian court shot down plans to send illegal immigrants to Malaysia for repatriation.

"We believe many more boats have set out from Sri Lankan shores in recent months. The arrests today confirm our suspicions," the officer said, declining to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Canberra clinched a deal last year to send 800 boat people to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 of that country's registered refugees in a bid to deter people-smuggling operations.

But it was struck down by the High Court, which ruled the Australian government did not have the power to send asylum-seekers to third countries where it could not guarantee their rights. Malaysia is not a signatory to UN refugee conventions.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The return of Gigi Reyes Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → …

  • Hugas Dugo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Hugas Dugo

    Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan Pakil, Laguna--In the small town of Pakil, Laguna resides a group of men who call themselves Hugas Dugo. Most members of the group are residents of the … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options