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Coastwatch makes another detection.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for South Australia



9 December 1999

Coastwatch makes another detection

A vessel believed to be carrying seven suspected illegal immigrants and two crew has today be en detained at Ashmore Islands after detection by Customs Coastwatch, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, announced today.

Coastwatch tasked HMAS Whyalla to escort the vessel to a lagoon at Ashmore where it arrived at 11am today, after shadowing the vessel for the past two days.

The small motorised Indonesian fishing vessel was detected by a Coastwatch Dash 8 flight, 60km south-west of Ashmore Islands.

The ACV Botany Bay, HMAS Dubbo and HMAS Whyalla are transporting 95 passengers and crew, which includes people from two previous December arrivals, to the mainland. Arrangements are being made to transport the remaining people being held at Ashmore to the mainland.

It is expected that officials from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs will process the people once they arrive on the mainland.

This is the third vessel carrying suspected illegal immigrants detected by Coastwatch this month. The two previous arrivals this month have had a total of 149 suspected illegal immigrants.



jy  1999-12-15  11:16