Twenty (20) individuals have been arrested for attempting to travel overseas by boat illegally.
The suspects were arrested during a special operation carried out by the Navy in Kondachchikuda, Silawathura.
The Sri Lanka Navy said that among those detained were 14 males, four females, a 13-year-old girl and one 16-year- old boy.
They have been identified as residents of Mullaitivu (09), Jaffna (04), Mannar (04), Walachchani (01), Wattala (01) and Puttalam (01).
They were arrested after the Northwestern Naval Command had inspected four suspicious three-wheelers at the Kondachchikuda roadblock in Silawathura.
Following interrogations, it had been revealed that the suspects were on their way to the Silawathura sea area with the intention of migrating to a foreign country via sea.
The suspects and the three-wheelers were thereafter taken into custody.
The Sri Lanka Navy said it is suspected that the mastermind of the human trafficking racket is among the individuals who were arrested.
The suspects and the vehicles have been handed over to the Silawathura Police for further investigations. (Colombo Gazette)