Malaysian authorities, led by the Royal Malaysia Police, have successfully disrupted a maritime people smuggling venture before it could depart for our region.
The venture was disrupted on 4 January in Port Klang on the west coast of Malaysia.
Thirty four people were prevented from departing Malaysia as part of this venture, comprising of men, women and children of Sri Lankan and Indian nationality.
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton congratulated Malaysian authorities on this successful disruption and highlighted the value of strong support from international partners when it comes to combating transnational crime.
"This is another example of Malaysian authorities detecting and disrupting an organised maritime people smuggling venture before it could depart," he said.
"I applaud Malaysia's disruption of this venture and its valuable contribution to regional efforts to combat people smuggling and other transnational crimes.
"Australia's approach to combating people smuggling and protecting our border is multi-layered. Strong working relationships with our international partners are an important first line of defence and Malaysia is a key partner on this issue."
Minister Dutton said this is yet another example of the enduring threat that people smuggling poses across our region.
"As the organisation of this venture demonstrates, criminal people smugglers have not gone away. They continue to exploit vulnerable people in our region, including by using the false prospect of settlement in either Australia or New Zealand to market their services.
"It is critical that Australia maintains a strong border protection posture to prevent people smugglers from successfully targeting our shores, including through strong border protection policies and operational capabilities, and cooperative relationships with our international law enforcement partners."