Probe launched into suspected human trafficking to Australia

The trafficked people, including women and newborns, had left their resorts and home stays in Cherai and Munambam coastal areas of Ernakulam district on January 12

Published: 14th January 2019 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2019 08:17 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.


KOCHI: Agencies here are probing the suspected trafficking of 40 non-Keralites in a fishing vessel to Australia from Ernakulam district, official sources said Monday.

The trafficked people, including women and newborns, had left their resorts and home stays in Cherai and Munambam coastal areas of the district on January 12, they said.

The agencies, including Kerala Police and Intelligence Bureau, are probing whether the people who took rooms in the resorts and home stays on January 5, providing Delhi addresses, had left the coast in the boat that day or not, sources said.

If they had done so, it would be a clear case of human trafficking to Australia because similar attempts were made a couple of years back from Munambam but in vain, they added.

Police said the assistance of the Coast Guard had been sought to trace the vessel, 'Dayamatha', purchased recently by two persons-- one from Tamil Nadu and another a Keralite.

Initial investigation found that one of the addresses given by the boat owners was fake, they said.

Police said the addresses and proof of identity recovered from the resorts and home stays revealed that the 40 people were of Tamil origin.

The probe began after locals informed the police about some abandoned bags that they had found in Cherai and Munambam areas.

Police said they were also investigating another incident of abandoned bags found Monday in Kodungallur in Thrissur district.

Multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, a top official told PTI.

In 2015, Australia had made it clear that people who attempt to travel illegally to the country by sea would not be allowed to settle there.

The country's Consul-General to south India had further stressed that anyone who survived the journey would be intercepted and transferred to Regional Processing Centres in Nauru or Manus Island (in Papua New Guinea).

The statement came after the Kerala Police busted a racket of Sri Lankan refugees being trafficked from Tamil Nadu to Australia in 2015.

Nine refugees and four local agents were arrested that year at Munambam from where they were to be trafficked to the Australian coast by a fishing vessel.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp