Australian Border Protection Command intercepts suspected people smuggling vessel with 40 on boardApril 10th, 2010 - 5:59 pm ICT by BNO News
SYDNEY (BNO NEWS) — The Australian Border Protection Command on Saturday intercepted a suspected people smuggling vessel carrying 40 people, authorities said.
HMAS Maitland, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the vessel on Saturday afternoon north east of Ashmore Island. It was initially detected by a Dash - 8 aircraft. A total of 36 passengers and four crew members were on board the vessel.
The group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks and their reasons for travel will be established.
A statement from Minister for Home Affairs O’Connor’s office said that, while their nationality has not yet been confirmed, their claims will not be considered for at least three or six months if the asylum seekers are Sri Lankans or Afghans due to a processing suspension introduced by the Australian government on Friday.
This suspension was introduced because of the evolving circumstances in these two countries. The Australian Government believes that asylum seekers should only be granted the right to live in Australia if they are genuinely in need of protection.
On Friday, the Australian Border Protection Command intercepted another suspected people smuggling vessel north-northeast of West Island in the Ashmore group. That vessel carried eight passengers and two crew members.
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Tags: afghans, ashmore group, asylum seekers, australian government, bno, border protection, christmas island, crew members, dash 8 aircraft, health checks, hmas, home affairs, intercepts, maitland, nationality, o connor, saturday afternoon, security identity, six months, sri lankans