'The Age' an Australian news paper reports that the people smuggling network is targeting Tamil refugees in southern India, promising them safe passage across the Indian Ocean and Australian citizenship when they arrive.
It reports that the past six months have seen a spike in the number of boats leaving Sri Lanka and Southern India bound for Australian territorial waters, with boats intercepted in the past three days at Ashmore Islands, Christmas and Cocos islands.
The age notes that already this year, 708 people claiming to be from Sri Lanka, many arriving in boats from India, have arrived in Australian waters. For the full year last year, the figure was 211.
According to statistics while the jump is dramatic, it represents a tiny fraction - half of 1 per cent - of the Tamil refugee population.