Mangalore, September 12: The JMFC second court remanded five of the 13 human traffickers of Sri Lankan Tamilian refugees to police custody here on Tuesday.
Those taken into custody are: Sri Lankan national Thavarassa (46), Indian national Shajahan (33) from Palakkad in Kerala, Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu Dinesh Kumar (27) of Nammakal, Yakoob (40) from Kuniyamuthur in Tamil Nadu, and Saleem (28) from Vellore.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Muthuraya said police were collecting more details about earlier attempts to illegally enter Australia. The city police rescued 84 persons, including 56 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who were planning a risky and illegal sea voyage to Australia. The local police took assistance of their Tamil Nadu counterpart to identify the victims. The Lankan refugees and 21 Indians residing in Tamil Nadu have been sent to that State. The refugees have been handed over to Rehabilitation Commissioner, Chennai. Three of the detained were Tamils living in Kundapur, Karnataka while the remaining four were from Kerala, the police said.
Meanwhile, officials from the Lankan Embassy called the local police to secure details of the case and about the persons who have been arrested. One of the arrested persons is a Sri Lankan.
Pratap Reddy, inspector general of police (Western Range) and stand-in city police chief said police will map the role of these accused in planning the operation and any help they might have got locally. The remaining eight traffickers are in judicial custody.
Meanwhile, Madhava Suvarna of Chitrapura, owner of Sri Raksha, the boat in which the traffickers planned to take the refugees to Australia, failed to obtain bail. City police arrested Madhava on Monday Police who performed a mahazar of the boat on Tuesday recovered five bags each containing 25 kg of rice, pulses, a tin of pickles and vegetables.