Navy stops first asylum boat off NT coast

NT News
January 01, 2014 4:18PM

The asylum boat, pictured off the NT coast, with Australian Navy on board. Picture: ELISE DERWIN Source: NT News

THE first suspected asylum seeker boat of 2014 has been intercepted north-west of Darwin, just days after the Federal Government talked up the results of its "stop the boats" campaign.

Navy ships intercepted the vessel about eight nautical miles off Cape Van Diemen, the northernmost tip of Melville Island.

Thirty-eight people were counted above deck.

Most of them were men and believed to be from South Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin. Their boat was being escorted in a westerly direction yesterday afternoon by three Navy vessels.

Four navy personnel had also boarded the ship.

As per Coalition protocol, Defence and Customs were tight-lipped and refused to disclose any information about the arrival, instead referring queries to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

His office did not return the NT News' calls yesterday.


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