Sri Lankan refugees handed over to Maldives authorities

The US Navy has apprehended Sri Lankan refugees traveling through Maldives' territorial waters.

According to India's Times of India, 85 Sri Lankan Tamils, including 59 Lankan refugees were traveling on an illegal ferry from Kerala, India to South Africa to reach Canada seeking asylum. However, the ferry stranded between Mauritius and Maldives due to bad weather, and drifted into Maldivian waters where it was accosted and intercepted by the US Navy. They have now been handed over to the Maldives government, the report said.

The refugees are believed to have escaped from refugee camps in Madurai and Trichy. The newspaper said some refugees did not have any identification documents on them.

The Maldives police has not given any information regarding the incident.