Sri Lanka Navy took into custody a local multiday fishing trawler carrying 85 individuals, suspected to be illegal migrants attempting to flee the country via sea, navy sources said.
The trawler was taken into custody during a marine patrol off the coast of Batticaloa in the wee hours of today.
There were 60 men, including the navigators, 14 women who were over 18 years of age and 11 others were young teens among those who were netted.
The Navy also took the deep sea fishing craft used for this illegal sea voyage under their custody. The illegal migrants were from Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Muthur, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Madu.
The arrested men and women and the fishing trawler were brought ashore and anchored at the Trincomalee Harbour and they will be handed over to the Trincomalee Harbour Police for onward legal proceedings.