Colombo: At least 51 people were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday while they were planning to illegally migrate to Australia through the sea route.

An official statement said that this was the fourth such incident in the last week owing to the ongoing “economic crisis” in the nation.

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The Sri Lankan Navy said that the persons attempting to illegally migrate were arrested after a fishing trawler carrying them was seized in the eastern seas.

The Navy in a statement said, “A search operation carried out by the Navy in the eastern seas this morning (July 3, 2022) led to the seizure of a local multi-day fishing trawler carrying 51 persons, who are suspected to be on an illegal migration attempt to a foreign country via sea.”

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Earlier on Saturday, 24 individuals were arrested in a similar attempt to illegally migrate to Australia, in Marawila on the western coast.

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