The Sri Lankan navy arrested at least seven persons, including women and children, who tried to flee the island and escape to India by way of sea through Mannar on Saturday.
Five persons, including a 29 year old man, a 29 year old woman, a 38 year old woman and two 9 year old female children, were arrested by the navy in the waters near Pesalai village in Mannar. Further, two men, one aged 32 and the other 37, were arrested on charges of arranging the travel for those trying to leave the country.
The Sri Lankan navy revealed that the persons were arrested during an ambush in the sea and they were all identified as belonging to Mannar district.
The navy subsequently handed over the arrested persons to the Pesalai police who are currently conducting an investigation into the attempted escape.
It is reported that following the investigation, all seven persons would be brought to trial at the Mannar Court.
The Sri Lanka navy claimed on its website that it "has been conducting regular patrols in island’s waters to thwart all forms of nefarious activities including illegal immigration attempts".