Monday, 02 March 2020
Media release

People smuggling venture intercepted

Eight potential illegal immigrants have been returned to Indonesia after a people smuggling vessel targeting Australia was intercepted by Australian authorities. 

All eight people on board were safely turned back to Indonesia.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said this interception and turn back reaffirmed that the Morrison Government remains steadfastly committed to stamping out people smuggling and stopping people risking their lives at sea.

"We will not tolerate a return to past circumstances where more than 1,200 people died at sea attempting illegal and dangerous journeys to Australia."

"Illegal maritime travel to Australia is as pointless as it is dangerous. There is zero chance of illegal migration to Australia, Mr Dutton said.

Since the implementation of Operation Sovereign Borders in 2013, Australia has returned 873 people from 38 people smuggling ventures to their country of origin or departure.

It is the Coalition Government's policy to intercept any vessel seeking to reach Australia illegally and to safely return those on board to their point of departure or country of origin.

Measures and safeguards are in place to enable actions and activities to be undertaken in accordance with Australian domestic law and Australia's obligations under international law.

Australia's tough border protection policies mean those on-board the people smuggling vessel will never be allowed to live or work in Australia.