48 more suspected asylum-seekers nabbed
February 12, 2010 9:57PM
A BOAT-load of almost 50 suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted on its way to Australia.
Border Protection Authorities intercepted the boat carrying 48 passengers and two crew at about 5:30pm near Ashmore Islands.
The passengers will be taken to Christmas Island where the Federal Government says they will undergo security, identity and health checks.
The latest boat-load of suspected asylum seekers will put more pressure on Christmas Island which is at bursting point.
Earlier this month the Immigration Department was forced to find 50 new beds to ensure spare capacity at the processing facility.
The Government has come under attack for its immigration policy after an influx of boats intercepted en route to Australia this year.
The Government says it has committed more than $654 million to implementing a comprehensive people smuggling strategy to combat this issue.
The latest vessel was identified by the RAAF under the control of Border Protection Command.
Related Coverage :
Arrivals push island to limit The Australian, 10 days ago
Two boats held – 70 on board Perth Now, 23 Jan 2010
Christmas Island on brink of overflow The Australian, 4 Jan 2010
Refugees fast-tracked to resettlement Daily Telegraph, 29 Dec 2009
59th asylum boat intercepted Perth Now, 29 Dec 2009