The Lakshadweep police took three persons, believed to be of Somalian origin, into custody after the boat in which they were travelling developed a snag and drifted towards Minicoy, the southern most of the archipelago.

The dingy-type boat fitted with outboard engine was first sighted around 4 p.m. on Wednesday by fishermen going out of Minicoy. The fishermen reported seeing four persons, apparently of African origin, wave towards them. But the fishermen did not approach the boat out of fear, said a relative of one of the fishermen.

Later another fishing boat returning from sea found the boat empty and towed it to the land. Following reports about four persons who were on the boat, searches were conducted in the 13.8-km-long island till early morning.