The Sri Lanka Navy has arrested 40 individuals in the coastal areas of Batticaloa, Kalawanchikudi, Dharmapuram, and Pudukuduirippu while attempting to illegally leave the country via sea.
The individuals were between the ages of 12 and 50.
The multi-day fishing trawler had begun sinking when being towed by the Navy due to its dilapidated condition due to rough seas.
The group including the two people smugglers were brought ashore safely.
The suspects are residents of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, and Vavuniya.
They were handed over to the Kattankudi Police Station and the Trincomalee Port Police for further investigations.