Border Protection Command Intercepts Vessel

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13th January 2010, 02:03pm - Views: 708
BORDER PROTECTION COMMAND INTERCEPTS VESSEL

Border Protection Command this morning intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel.

HMAS Bathurst, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the vessel at 2:24am (AEDST) approximately 5 nautical miles north of Christmas Island, after the vessel was initially detected by ACV TRITON, also under the control of Border Protection Command.

Initial indications suggest 42 passengers are 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.

This latest vessel is the fifth to be intercepted this year.

Situations around the world mean that large numbers of displaced persons are looking for settlement and can be targeted by, and fall prey to, people smugglers.

According to the UNHCR 2008 Global Trends report, there were 42 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide at the end of 2008, including 15.2 million refugees.

People smuggling is not just an issue for Australia it is a global and regional problem. The commitment of our neighbours, through bilateral cooperation and the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, is critical to addressing this most serious issue.

The Australian Government has an orderly and planned migration program and places a high priority on protecting Australia's borders from irregular maritime arrivals by maintaining an effective and visible tactical response program of aerial, land and sea-based patrols.

The Government has committed more than $654 million to implementing a comprehensive people smuggling strategy to combat this issue.

The Government has expanded its presence in the region with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service recently setting up or expanding liaison posts devoted to deterring irregular migration.

Media Contacts:
Simon Dowding
(08) 9481 4844 or
0411 138 541 (Minister's office)

Customs and Border Protection media
(02) 6275 6793

Department of Immigration and Citizenship media
(02) 6264 2244

SOURCE: Acting Minister for Home Affairs


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