The Financial Express

Sri Lanka nabs 22 over illegal migration attempt

| Updated: November 28, 2017 12:24:06

AP photo AP photo

Sri Lankan Police have arrested 22 people while attempting to illegally migrate to Australia by boat, said Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara.

The suspects were arrested on a tip on Sunday at the coastal town of Puttalam, about 120 kilometers (74 miles) north of the capital, Colombo, Gunasekara added. 

They will appear in court on Monday.

Sri Lankan and Australian authorities are cooperating with each other to combat human smuggling, reports AP.

No Sri Lankan asylum seekers have reached Australia by boat since 2013.

But Sri Lankans, Iranians and Afghans are the largest national groups among more than 2,000 asylum seekers living on the Pacific islands nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia pays those countries to house them, but refuses to resettle any of them.

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