Three agents were arrested here late on Tuesday evening for allegedly attempting to transport Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to Australia via Velankanni.
Earlier, 14 Tamil refugees from various camps were apprehended at Velankanni on Monday night.
On interrogation, it was found that they had gathered after the agents promised them 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 agents are Sadasivam (55), a native of Triconamalee, based in Perumpakkam, Chennai; Sudha alias Sudhakaran (39), Maadampakkam, Chennai; and Ravi alias Ganesalingam (50), Porur, Chennai.
They have been booked under Section 406 of the IPC for criminal breach of trust and Section 420 for cheating.
A trap was laid to nab the three agents, who had been present in Velankanni all along, while the refugees were apprehended for interrogation on Monday night, revealed a Q branch source.
The refugees were handed over to the local police.