Madurai

23 Sri Lankan nationals held in Madurai

Tamil Nadu police have arrested 23 Sri Lankan nationals from a godown in an industrial complex near Madurai after they illegally landed in Thoothukudi without any travel documents in April, on their way to Canada.

Acting on a tip-off, the Q-Branch police arrested the 23 foreigners, including two Sinhalese, on Thursday from a vehicle body building unit at SIDCO industrial estate, a police officer told The Hindu.

The Lankan nationals, aged between 20 years and 44 years, were promised lucrative jobs in Canada. Most of them were residents of Mullaitheevu.

An individual, Mayuran alias Kannan of Sri Lanka, had taken them in three fibre boats on April 27 and dropped them in a launch, mid-sea. However, they landed in Thoothukudi and were secretly brought to Madurai, the police source said.

Initially, they were made to hide in a private place at Nesaneri near Kalligudi, by two persons identified as Ashok Kumar and Kasiviswanathan. However, after local people started questioning them, they were shifted to the body building unit.

“The men had paid huge sums of money through their relatives to Kannan after boarding the launch. However, they did not know that they would be dropped in Thoothukudi,” a police officer said.

They had also sought money from their relatives back in Sri Lanka for their food expenses in Madurai. The money was deposited in the bank accounts of two persons known to the watchman of the body building unit.

However, as there was no sign of Kasiviswanathan and Ashok Kumar making arrangement for their travel to Canada, they had complained about it to their relatives, and this information was shared with Sri Lankan refugees in Mandapam. It was then that information about the Sri Lankan nationals was received by Q-Branch police in Ramathapuram following which they were apprehended.

The police have arrested Ashok Kumar, Kasiviswanathan and the 23 Sri Lankan nationals. A case has been booked for human trafficking and under the provisions of Passports Act 1967 and Foreigners Act.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 9:54:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/23-sri-lankan-nationals-held-in-madurai/article34795994.ece

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