The police on Monday arrested agents of a boat suspected to be used for human trafficking found at Vypeen on August 30.
The arrested are Nagoor Kani, of Ramanathapuram, Muthuswamy, of Thirunelvely, Maran Frederick, of Thirunelvely, Idyas, of Mangalore, and Michael, of Thumba in Thiruvananthapuram.
According to the police, the racket was involved in trafficking Sri Lankan Tamil natives who live in refugee camps in different parts of the country. They take money from the Sri Lankans and transport them to Australia.
After taking them into custody and interrogating them, the police received information about the racket.
“The racket is based in Mangalore. They had charged `15,000 each from 48 Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu and began their voyage on July 26,” the police said.
“But owing to technical snags on the boat, the voyage was called off at the Kochi coast in Vypeen, and they returned to Mangalore. The Sri Lankans may have returned to their respective camps,” the police officials said.
“ We are searching for the kingpin and the Sri Lankans who were being transported in the boat. We will sent a team to Mangalore and Tamil Nadu as part of the investigation,” they added.
A similar attempt to transport Sri Lankan Tamil natives was made in the past. Last year, the police took 23 Sri Lankan people from Tamil Nadu who were to be illegally taken to Australia.
They later arrested the kingpin. Various attempts were made at Munambam and Kollam ports in the past few years.