Acting on intelligence inputs on a bid to transport Sri Lankan refugees illegally to Australia, Q Branch sleuths rounded up four persons, including two suspected Madurai-based agents, and tracked down a mechanised boat anchored in Nagapattinam on Friday.

Intense vigil

Following intense vigil, the security sleuths traced down a mechanised boat anchored in Keechankuppam jetty, loaded with adequate food , water, and about 5,000 litres of diesel. Of the four men secured, two were siblings and owners of the boat.

The move to launch the boat with the refugees on the illegal voyage was suspected to have been put on hold due to Operation Hamla – the coastal security exercise that was under operation from Thursday morning and until after dusk on Friday.

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