Sri Lankans returned from the Cocos Islands
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Today 14 Sri Lankan nationals were returned to Sri Lanka from the Cocos Islands on a charter flight that departed earlier this afternoon AEST.
The group was detected and intercepted north-west of the Cocos Islands by ACV Hervey Bay, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, late on Thursday.
There were 15 people on board the vessel named Chejan, which was the subject of an alleged incident in Sri Lankan waters on 13 October this year.
The individuals were advised of their status and that they were subject to removal from Australia. They made no claims for protection nor raised any issues that engaged Australia's international obligations.
They did not hold visas and consequently had no legal right to enter or remain in Australia.
One person was not removed from Australia. He was not able to return to Sri Lanka today and we will continue to assess his availability for removal over the coming days.
This Government is committed to breaking the evil people smuggling trade and preventing people from taking dangerous boats.
People who pay smugglers are risking their lives and throwing their money away – because there is no visa awaiting them, no speedy outcome, and no special treatment.
We will continue to regularly transfer people to Nauru and shortly to Manus Island.
We have also seen a number of Sri Lankans returning home, which is further proof that people smugglers only sell lies and make false promises about what awaits people in Australia.
Last update: Monday, 29 October 2012 at 13:12 AEST