A magistrate in Sri Lanka has remanded in custody more than 250 Pakistanis in connection with an alleged people smuggling racket.
The Pakistanis were arrested two days ago on board a foreign-owned cargo ship, having flown legitimately to Sri Lanka from Karachi.
The police say the ship, the MV Invincible, manned by a Russian or Georgian crew, was going to transport them illegally to an unidentified European destination.
Five Sri Lankans, who police say were involved in the smuggling operation, have also been detained.
Correspondents say a recent decision by Sri Lanka to relax its entry visa requirements has attracted would-be illegal immigrants from other South Asian countries.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service