Author: LAUREN FERRI FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
People smugglers and suspected asylum seekers were close to reaching Australian territory before they were intercepted by the Navy.
This was the first attempt at a trafficking voyage since December and saw the suspected asylum seekers coming close before they were stopped in Northern Australian waters.
Three Indonesian crew and seven Chinese nationals were on the boat that was forced to turn back in mid-June.
They were turned back under the Turnbull Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy, The Daily Telegraph revealed.
Intelligence agencies have been warning the government that criminal syndicates are hoping to restart the lucrative people smuggling trade.
Thousands of people in Indonesia are desperate to come to Australia.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has said that it is vital that Australia’s strict policies remain.
‘This is yet another example that the people smugglers haven’t stopped and if we don’t keep the same strong and consistent policies we will return to the bad old days of hundreds of boat arrivals under Rudd and Gillard,’ Mr Dutton said.
People smugglers last attempted to smuggle asylum seekers out of Indonesia in December.
At the time, there were calls for asylum seekers to be brought to Australia during the energetic by-election in Bennelong in December.
‘(The people smugglers) will see and are seeing Bill Shorten’s choice of Kristina Keneally as Labor wanting to throw out the welcome mat for asylum seekers,’ Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the time.
Intelligence has revealed that people on Nauru are advising refugees not to go to the US.
They believe that due to an upcoming election in Australia that they may have a better chance of coming to Australia under a change of government.
Experienced people smugglers across the world are constantly staying on top of political information in Australia, to gather intelligence in attempts to beat the system.
Under the current government, refugees who attempt to enter Australia via boat will not be allowed access.
This latest intercept in mid-June is the 33rd boat that has been stopped in Australian waters since Operation Sovereign Borders was initiated in 2013.
A number of crew and Chinese nationals were on board the boat, yet it is unknown why the Chinese nationals were fleeing to Australia.
The Australian Border Force stated that the boat was turned back to its ‘country of departure’.
Media in Indonesia recently reported that a boat that was carrying Chinese nationals was found drifting in Indonesian waters in mid-June.
It is believed that the Indonesian captain and crew reportedly fled, leaving the Chinese nationals on board.