Asylum boat seized with 43 onboard

A boat which was heading to Australia with 43 illegal asylum seekers was seized in Puttalam last night, the police media unit said today.

The police said that the multi-day fishing trawler had departed Puttalam for Australia on October 22nd but had experienced engine trouble on the way.

After being out at sea for days the boat had drifted towards Beruwala last night and was seized by the navy at the Beruwala fisheries harbor.

The police said that seven human traffickers who were also on the boat had fled as soon as the boat reached the shore.

Of the 43 people on the boat there were 33 males and 8 women and 2 children, the police media unit said.

The boat people are residents of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Trincomallee and Batticaloa. They were handed over to the Beruwala police for further investigations. (Colombo Gazette)