The ‘Q’ branch police here on Friday successfully managed to foil another attempt by a group of refugees to set on an illegal voyage to Australia, making this the third such attempt in this year.
Apart from refugees, fishermen here are also deceived and lured by these illegal agents. They provide huge sum to the fishermen for using their boats in their attempt to flee.
Police said, the mechanised boats used in such voyages has the ability to hold only around 10-15 on board. However, in such attempts, the boat would be stuffed with excess of people, beyond the safety limit, thereby risking lives of refugees.
Speaking to Express, a fishermen representative said, “Damaged and old boats would be overhauled, and fishermen in need of money fall victim to these agents, who pay them a bulk sum ranging from Rs 10 lakh for a mechanised boat.”
According to police, the travel agents after collecting a sum for the journey varying from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh from the refugees across the camps in Tamil Nadu, would spend a part of the money for buying the mechanised boat.
“The travel agents themselves could be refugees, and would have links across refugee camps, through which they collect money. The journey mostly aimed at Australia is highly impossible and impractical, considering the circumstances and the condition of the boat.”