16 Jul 2012

Would-be asylum seekers stopped

4:08 pm on 16 July 2012

Sri Lanka has intercepted 130 people said to be trying to leave the island illegally by boat bound for Australia.

More than 250 potential asylum seekers have been arrested in the past week in a sudden surge of such cases.

Naval officials say a fishing trawler carrying 109 people was detected off the east coast of Sri Lanka after being at sea for two nights, and escorted to the port of Trincomalee.

Another 22 people suspected of preparing to leave the island illegally on a different trawler were also arrested.