File photo of the Malaysian flag. Photograph:( Others )
The human smuggling racket was in existence for more than a year
Malaysian police intercepted a tanker carrying 131 Sri Lankans. The tanker was bound for Australia and New Zealand.
The authorities halted the tanker on Tuesday and rescued 98 Sri Lankan immigrant men, 24 women, four boys and five girls.
A fishing boat was also raided which is believed to be used to transport the migrants to the vessel. Three Indonesians and four Malaysians were rescued from the boat.
The authorities have detained five Malaysians for suspected involvement in the smuggling.
According to Malaysian officials, the human smuggling racket was in existence for more than a year.