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The South Asian Insider

4 Sri Lankan Tamil stowaways caught travelling on cargo ship at Suez Canal checkpoint



Four men secretly boarded a Liberian flagged vessel when it was at the Colombo Harbour on March 24. The Sri Lankan men were discovered by the captain of the ship at the Suez Canal security checkpoint in Egypt. (News Agency)- Four Sri Lankan Tamil stowaways have been handed over to authorities here after they were caught illegally travelling on a cargo vessel dressed as part of the ship's crew.
The four who sneaked into the MV CMA CGM PANAMA containership while it was at the Colombo Harbour last month were discovered by the captain of the ship at the Suez Canal security checkpoint in Egypt, the Colombo Page news portal reported.
The ship was carrying garment exports to Europe from Sri Lanka.
The men were handed over to Sri Lanka Police on Monday, and were remanded by the Acting Magistrate of Galle Premaratne Thiranagama, Newsfirst Lanka reported on Tuesday.
The four men secretly boarded a Liberian Flagged vessel when it was at the Colombo Harbour on March 24. The ship left the port of Colombo on March 25 and started its journey to Europe, the reports said.
When the ship was entering the Suez Canal in Egypt, it was discovered that there were four stowaways in the ship who were not known to the captain or the other staff of this ship, it said.
The Sri Lankan men were dressed as part of the ship's crew when they were discovered.
The captain informed his parent company about the incident and on March 28 the four stowaways were handed over to the MV Jackson Bay ship belonging to the same company which was sailing towards Sri Lanka.
They kept the four Sri Lankan youths in a special cell and brought them to the international waters near the Galle port under strict security.
Following their discovery, the men were handed over to another vessel that passed by and was heading to China, so that they can be handed over to Sri Lankan authorities. The four men were handed over to Sri Lankan authorities in the seas of Galle Harbour.The men were identified as residents from Mullaithivu, Chunnakkam, Kytes, and Weliwtithurai, the report added.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration said that a special investigation was launched to determine how these men entered the Colombo Port, and the vessel.Action will be taken not only against the four Sri Lankans but also against the people who aided and abetted them, the authorities said.