Thirty-eight Sri Lankan nationals have been arrested for illegally staying here for over a month now, police said. The arrests were made by the City Crime Branch from private lodges and houses based on a tip-off from the Tamil Nadu police and intelligence agencies, the police said.
The illegal immigrants were said to have been trafficked into India with the promise of jobs in Canada, they said. As per preliminary investigation, the Sri Lankan nationals were first brought to Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu by boat around March 17, and were supposed to travel to Canada by sea thereafter, they said.
However, due to strict vigilance during Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu at that time, the Lankans were shifted to Bengaluru and then to Mangaluru by road, the police said. The Lankans were said to have paid up to Rs 10 lakh Sri Lankan rupees to the agent for facilitating their travel to Canada, they said.
They illegal migrants were living in Mangaluru claiming to be daily wage workers and fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Six locals, who were helping them with food and stay in the city have also been arrested, the police said.
A case has been registered under various sections of IPC, Foreigners Act and Passport Act, and further investigation is on, they added.