November 06, 2012
Customs yesterday intercepted three asylum seeker boats. Source: The Daily Telegraph
CUSTOMS has intercepted three suspected asylum seeker boats carrying a total of 58 people off the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
It follows the arrival of five boats carrying more than 300 people over the weekend.
Australian Customs Vessel Triton, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the three latest suspected irregular entry vessels on Monday.
“Initial indications suggest there were eight, 24 and 26 people respectively on board the three vessels,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement.
The first vessel initially was detected by Triton while the second and third were spotted by a RAAF maritime patrol aircraft.
The passengers were transferred to Australian government authorities on Cocos (Keeling) Islands, where they will undergo basic health and security checks.
Arrangements will then be made for them to be transferred to Christmas Island for further security, health and identity checks and to establish their reasons for travel.