12 May 2013

Indonesian police intercept asylum seeker boat

9:11 pm on 12 May 2013

A large group of asylum seekers have refused to leave their boat moored in Bali's main harbour after they were stopped while preparing to leave for Australia.

The standoff began on Sunday in Benoa Harbour, the main port from where holiday makers depart on cruises around the resort island.

AAP reports that the group of about 80 asylum seekers, all from the Middle East, were discovered by Bali water police during a routine patrol.

The development came as authorities in Australia and Indonesia confirmed a major people-smuggling operation had been busted following the arrest of a man in Jakarta.

Police in Australia and Indonesia on Sunday confirmed the arrest of the people smuggler, which was made as part of a joint operation.

The man was expected to face people smuggling charges in Indonesia, which carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.