Navy increases patrols to deter illegal migrants | Daily News

Navy increases patrols to deter illegal migrants

The Sri Lanka Navy has increased security in Sri Lankan waters to prevent illegal migration attempts which could create a surge in the transmission of Covid in the country.

The Navy has deployed more naval units to patrol the Northern and Northwestern waters of the island around the clock, following the possibility of illegal migrants entering the shores of Sri Lanka via sea routes, which could lead to a surge in the transmission of COVID in the country.

Accordingly, steps have been taken to deploy more ships and Fast Attack Craft to raise surveillance in the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) as well as Inshore Patrol Craft to patrol the coastal waters of the island, a statement issued by the Sri Lanka Navy said.

Incidentally, the Eastern Naval Command has attached some of its ships and craft to the Northern Naval Command, whereas the Western Naval Command has deployed additional ships and craft to patrol the sea area extending from Chilaw to Mannar, for these special operations.

Moreover, the Navy has increased foot patrols to add weight to the security in the coastal areas and has established Coastal Observation Points in selected locations as well. Similarly, the Navy has urged the fishing community in respective areas to be vigilant regarding the possible arrival of illegal immigrants and inform relevant authorities, if any suspicious activity is observed in this regard. They have also been informed not to make contacts with foreigners engaging in smuggling activities at sea. At this crucial juncture, the Navy urges all fishing communities to refrain from having any contact with foreign fishing vessels at sea and to provide information to the Navy if they know of any such smugglers.

Meanwhile, the Navy apprehended four Indian dhows, loaded with smuggled dried turmeric, cardamom, Kendu leaves and other consumer goods, together with 21 Indian nationals during operations carried out in Northwestern waters in the past two weeks.

The Indian nationals and the dhows held in these operations were repatriated back to Indian waters, taking into consideration the prevailing spike in the transmission of COVID 19. The increase in naval patrols led to the capture of foreign smugglers and their vessels in a short period of time.