31 Dec 2009

More asylum seekers intercepted

4:39 pm on 31 December 2009

Another 48 suspected asylum seekers have been detected in a boat off the north-west of Western Australia.

The ABC reports it is the third vessel that border authorities have seized this week and the 61st to arrive in Australia this year.

Forty-eight passengers and four crew from the boat, which was intercepted near Ashmore Islands, are being taken to Christmas Island for health, security and identity checks.

On Tuesday, a stationary vessel was spotted about 260km north of Gove, in the Northern Territory.

The 30 passengers and three crew members were expected to be taken to Christmas Island to be processed.

On Monday, an Australian navy ship intercepted a boat believed to be carrying 11 asylum seekers northwest of the Ashmore Islands.

Shadow Minister for Justice & Customs Michael Keenan said the Rudd Government had taken a hat-trick: "Three boats in three days."