The Straits Times
Published on Oct 27, 2012

Australia sends home Sri Lankans from 'hijacked' boat


SYDNEY (AFP) - A group of Sri Lankans who came to Australia on an allegedly hijacked fishing vessel have been returned home where some could face "serious charges", Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said today.

Fifteen people were picked up by Australian authorities on Thursday north-west of the Cocos Islands in a boat that was thought to have been hijacked in Sri Lankan waters on October 13, and 14 of them have been sent back.

"Of course, some of these people face serious charges in Sri Lanka," Mr Bowen told reporters, referring to the alleged hijacking and theft of the fishing trawler.

"The (Australian) government took the view that it's appropriate that they face those charges and that the removal occur as soon as possible."