The police detained eight persons, including five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Coimbatore and Tiruppur camps, who came to Chinna Muttom harbour after purchasing a mechanised boat at Mulampam in Kerala to go to Nagapattinam with an intention to escape to Australia on Saturday.

According to police sources, as their boat developed a technical snag they halted it at Chinna Muttom to rectify it.

The local fishermen informed about the arrival of eight persons in the harbour to ‘Q’ branch police

The ‘Q’ branch police, headed by the Inspector of Police, Sudir Lal, rushed to the spot, detained all the eight persons and later brought them to Kanyakumari police station for further investigation.

The names of the detained persons were given by the ‘Q’ branch police as Mahesh (27) of Anumanthakuppam in Villupuram district, Senthil Prabu (26) of Mangalam Road and Siva Rooban (28) of Pillayar Thoppu in Tiruppur district. Five other Sri Lankan Tamils – Sasikaran (22), Selvakar (31), Sathees Kumar (31), Rishwan (26) and Balu alias Bala Murughan (28) – were from various refugee camps in and around Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts.

During interrogation, the detained persons told the ‘Q’ branch police that they paid a huge amount for the purchase of a mechanised boat from Kerala to transport the Sri Lankan refugees to Nagapattinam to leave to Australia.

The police have registered a case.