Nineteen persons who attempted to migrate illegally from the country via sea routes have been arrested by the navy during a operation in the beach area of Chilaw.
On receipt of information, the Navy mounting a special operation, searched a spacious van in the estuary of Chilaw and apprehended this group with the van driver and his assistant.
A woman, three boys and a girl were also among the arrested. The suspects were identified as residents of Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Wattala, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Negombo and Kochchikade areas.
It is suspected that the group had attempted to illegally migrate to a foreign country by sea.