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Sri Lanka arrests 109 on boat bound for Australia

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – The Sri Lankan navy has stopped a fishing trawler that was carrying 109 people trying to make the perilous and illegal migration to Australia.

The navy’s statement says a naval patrol craft detected the “overcrowded” trawler about 25 nautical miles off the island’s eastern coast during the weekend. The boat and the 109 Sri Lankan males on it were taken to a naval base and then handed over to police.

The navy didn’t say if the boat was heading to an interim destination or directly to Australia, which is roughly 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) away.

Police report more than 400 arrests of Sri Lankans, Indians, Pakistanis and Afghans in Sri Lanka over the last two months for trying to migrate to Australia illegally.

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