Australian Customs intercept 101st refugee boat this year

08:44, October 08, 2010      

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An Australian Customs vessel has intercepted a boat suspected of carrying 56 asylum seekers near Scott Reef, off Western Australia's north-west coast, local media reported on Friday.

According to the Australia Associated Press, the boat, manned by two crew, initially was detected by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 surveillance aircraft operating under the control of Border Protection Command.

In a statement, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said that the Customs vessel ACV Corio intercepted the boat on Thursday night, which was carrying 56 suspected asylum seekers.

Those suspected refugee on board the boat will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks, O'Connor said.

It is the 101st asylum-seeker boat to arrive in Australian waters this year.

The boat arrived one week after the Australian federal government announced to immediately lift a freeze on the processing of claims from Afghan asylum seekers.

The six-month freeze on processing, which has been blamed in part for overcrowding in Australia's detention centers, was imposed by the government in April this year.

Source: Xinhua


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