The Colombo Magistrate Friday refused bail to seven suspected human smugglers and ordered to remand them further.
Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli ordered to further remand the seven traffickers who were arrested by the Colombo Fraud Bureau on May 28 for attempting to illegally smuggle 112 asylum seekers to Australia in a fishing trawler.
The Colombo Fraud Bureau informed the court that they are seeking instructions form the Attorney General for future actions over the case against the suspects and to use the 112 passengers as witnesses against the traffickers and obtain their statements.
The court earlier released the 112 asylum seekers who were also arrested along with the seven traffickers when they were waiting to disembark, on a personal bail of Rs 100,000 each.
The Bureau told the court that they are in the process of investigating the bank accounts of the seven suspects and preparing a report.
The Magistrate has directed the Bureau to submit a detailed report on the witness accounts and a track record of the seven suspects before 6 July and ordered to remand the suspects until then.
The smugglers are suspected of collecting Rs. 32 million from the would-be illegal migrants. Each migrant was required to pay around Rs. 200,000 (US$ 2,000).