Australian Navy nabs boats with 54 suspected asylum-seekers

March 15th, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 15 (DPA) The Australian Navy intercepted a boat suspected of carrying 54 asylum-seekers off the coast of the Northern Territory, officials said Sunday.
The passengers and crew were taken to the immigration detention centre on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean.

“The Australian government is committed to strong border security arrangements and is determined to deal effectively and appropriately with people smugglers,” Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said.

The vessel was intercepted off the Coburg peninsula, northeast of Darwin, Saturday night after it entered Australian waters illegally.

Most of the passengers are believed to be Afghans, according to Australian media reports.

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