The Hush Post |9:36 pm |one-minute-read
A boat with 100 to 200 Indians onboard has gone missing. It is a fishing boat which contains 100 to 200 Indian migrants and is headed to New Zealand.
The boat is carrying people mostly from New Delhi and Tamil Nadu. It left Munambam harbour in Kerala on January 12.
Meanwhile, a man from New Delhi has been arrested in connection with it.
The number of people on board may vary between 100 and 200, including women and children, they said.
Police have recovered more than 70 bags left behind by the migrants, as well as around 20 identification documents, officer VG Ravindran said.
The bags are full of dry goods and clothes which suggests they were preparing for a long arduous journey.
Search is on for the boat which has women and children as well and left the Indian shores on January 12
“The people and boat are missing somewhere in the sea. Many Indian agencies including the coast guard are trying to locate the boat,” the officer said.
For the migrants to reach New Zealand, they would need to travel more than 7,000 miles. The journey is through some of the roughest seas in the world. Cyclones and storms are common in the straits between Indonesia and Australia, the most likely route for the boat.
“While reports of these types of ventures are concerning, the message to anyone contemplating such a journey is simple: Any attempt to reach New Zealand will put your life, and the lives of your family members, at great risk,” said Stephen Vaughan, the assistant general manager at Immigration NZ (INZ).
He said those people who arrive illegally can be detained for up to six months. The detention can be extended for up to 28 days at a time.
“Although there has never been a mass arrival in this country there’s no doubt that New Zealand is a target for people smugglers, and a mass arrival at some stage is a very real possibility that we need to be fully prepared for,” Vaughan said.