24 May 2009

Suspected asylum seekers found off Australian coast

5:57 pm on 24 May 2009

A boatload of 77 suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted near Ashmore Reef off Australia's northwest coast.

The vessel is believed to be carrying 73 passengers and four crew.

Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus says the group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo health and security checks.

It is the 13th boat carrying suspected asylum seekers to be intercepted in Australian waters this year.