: Three agents were arrested late Tuesday in connection with an alleged attempt to transport Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to Australia via Velankanni. However, the arrests were revealed here on Wednesday.

On Monday night, 14 Tamil refugees were apprehended on suspicion. On interrogation, it was revealed that they had gathered from various camps on a promise of a safe passage to Australia. An advance of about Rs. 50,000 was made against the total payment of Rs.1 lakh per refugee for the promised transit.

The arrested include Sadasivam(55), a Triconamalee-native from Perumpakkam, Chennai; Sudha alias Sudhakaran(39), Maadampakkam, Chennai; and Ravi alias Ganesalingam(50), Porur, Chennai. The agents were booked under Section 406 of IPC for Criminal breach of Trust, and Section 420 for cheating.

A trap was laid to round up the three agents, who had been present in Velankanni all along, while the refugees were apprehended for interrogation on Monday night, said a Q branch source.

The refugees were handed over to the local police, and they would be escorted to their respective camps, Santosh Kumar, Superintendent of Police told The Hindu.

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