Police identified them as Dhushyanthan, 29, Lingeswaran, 30 and Vijayaraj, 28, from a house in Pozhichalur near Pallavaram. Based on a specific tip from one of the refugees, who paid money to them, police nabbed them. The ‘Q’ branch sleuths registered a case and remanded them in judicial custody.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that Dhushyanthan and Lingeswaran came to Tamil Nadu through an illegally ferry from Sri Lanka last year. They told police that they were conned by some people and lost a few lakhs of rupees, as they failed to take them to Australia through illegal ferry. Meanwhile, they met Vijayaraj and devised a plan to make easy money implementing similar modus operandi.
Police said they floated a fake organization and decided to canvass their plan among the refugees. They told police that they travelled to various special camps in Chennai and nearby districts targeting the ‘potential’ refugees. They asked the refugees to pay cash ranging from Rs2 to Rs4 lakhs for taking them to Christmas Island, which is geographically located north of Australia.
People travelling in the illegal ferry abandoned their vessel after entering into the Australian waters. The refugees later took asylum in the Christmas island after destroying their passports and other documents to prove their status. As the 135 sq.km area island was discovered on December 25, 1643, it was named as Christmas Island and Australian government use the island to detain the refugees. After detailed verification, the refugees will be given permanent citizenship in Australia.