27 Oct 2013

Reports people smugglers could use shipping containers

10:05 pm on 27 October 2013

Reports in Australia say people smugglers in Indonesia are offering to lock asylum seekers in shipping containers and send them to ports in either New Zealand or Australia.

Fairfax Media says secret audio recordings heard by its reporters reveal the people smugglers are telling their customers New Zealand is now a better option and can be reached either in shipping containers or by air.

Greens leader in Australia, Christine Milne, says she's horrified, and if it's true, the new tactics show the Australian government's asylum seeker policies are not working.

"We're going to find shipping containers on wharves in Australia and New Zealand and when they're opened we're going to find tragic scenes of a whole lot of people who've died," she says.

She says as people become more desperate their methods become more extreme.