Twenty-six Sri Lankan Tamils were nabbed by the Indian Coast Guard while on an illegal voyage to Australia in a ferry off Andaman coast and deported to their country today, the Press Trust of India reported.
They were brought to Chennai by the Andaman Police and sent back to Sri Lanka by a Spice Jet flight this morning, airport sources said.
They said coast guard personnel, on a patrol, intercepted the ferry in which the 26 Lankan nationals were travelling off Andaman two days ago.
During questioning, the occupants told officials that they were proceeding to Australia in search of job and had paid the boat operator lakhs of rupees. As they were found travelling without any documents, Coast Guard personnel detained and handed them over to Andaman Police which brought them here.
Ever since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, there had been several instances of Lankan Tamils taking the illegal route to reach Australia looking for greener pastures.
Australia has warned that such illegal immigrants would not be given asylum.