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France deports 60 Sri Lankans from Indian Ocean island

AFP  |  Saint- Denis De La Reunion 

Half of a group of 120 Sri Lankan migrants who arrived on the island of Reunion two weeks ago were deported early on Monday, officials said.

The group of 60, including three women and three children, were flown back to in a special flight, the island's prefecture said in a statement.

The group of 120 migrants arrived at Reunion on April 13, having made the 4,000-kilometre trip in a fishing boat. They each paid 2,000-5,000 euros (USD 2,230-USD 5,580) for the crossing.

The fishing boat's three Indonesian crew members have been charged with assisting illegal immigration. Remanded in custody, they are scheduled to appear in court on May 15.

Since March 2018, 273 Sri Lankans have arrived on Reunion Island, of whom 130 are still there.

They are waiting for OFPRA (the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) to rule on their

All the others have been sent back to

"There are clearly in operation," said Frederic Joram, of Reunion Island's prefecture.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 29 2019. 22:05 IST