Evans Re-Assures Illegal Arrivals Dropping

Evans reassures illegal arrivals dropping

Posted Tue Oct 7, 2008 12:39am AEDT

Federal Immigration Minister Chris Evans says despite two illegal vessels being captured off Australia's north-west coast in the last week, arrivals are down from the past two years.

A boat was intercepted off Australia's north-west coast on Monday and its 17 passengers have been transferred to Christmas Island.

Another 14 people were detained near the Ashmore Islands last Thursday, and its passengers were also sent to Christmas Island for processing.

“We have had two arrivals within short succession and that obviously is concerning,” Mr Evans said.

“We will reinvigorate our efforts to make sure boats don't leave and people smugglers are driven out of business.

“But compared with last year and the year before, our arrivals are down both in terms of the numbers of boats and the numbers of persons.”

Senator Evans says today's arrival could be linked to last week's.

“It's not clear as yet but I don't discount the fact that these two vessels might have actually departed and been organised by the one group,” he said.

“We can't rule out the fact that we might have had two vessels depart organised by the same people smuggling syndicate around the same time.”


Map: Christmas Island 6798
Related Story: Second illegal boat caught off Australia

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