07 October 2008

Australian gov't intercepts another people-smuggling boat

The Royal Australian Navy intercepted another people-smuggling boat, just a week after a boat with 12 asylum seekers were discovered off the north-west coast of Australia.

This time, 17 people were discovered on the vessel, and all passengers have been transferred to Christmas Island for review from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Senator Chris Evans cannot confirm the passengers’ identities or nationalities, or whether they are seeking asylum or illegal immigration.

After the first illegal vessel was discovered last week, Senator Evans said, “The interception of this group of unauthorised arrivals clearly demonstrates the Rudd Government’s border security arrangements are working. We congratulate all agencies involved in this apprehension,” Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said.

"Attempting to breach Australia’s borders and the integrity of its immigration system is a serious matter and the government will continue to take robust measures to protect Australia’s borders,” Senator Evans added.  “People smuggling is an insidious trade where criminals exploit vulnerable people whose lives may be put at risk."

Senator Evans has spent the past few months in South East Asia discussing the people-smuggling trade in an effort to tighten regional border security and migration management so that more foreigners can lawfully enter Australia on Australian visas, rather than risking their lives or freedom by being smuggled into the country. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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