The navy arrested 53 people off Pigeon Island in Trincomalee today as they were heading to Australia by boat illegally.
Among those arrested were 49 Tamils, 3 Muslims and a Sinhalese, the navy media unit said.
The multi-day trawler named “Sinhale 4” was intercepted by a fast naval patrol craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command 16 nautical miles off Pigeon Island in Trincomalee.
The navy said 42 males, 03 women and 08 children were onboard the boat and they are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, and Trincomalee.
The asylum seekers were escorted to the Trincomale Harbour to be handed over to the CID for further investigations.