All the nonwhite invaders aboard the first invasion boat to reach the Australian shore in nearly four years have been captured and sent to the offshore illegal immigrant processing center of Christmas Island pending deportation, the Australian government has announced.
According to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the boat—a fishing vessel from Vietnam—reached Australia’s coast north of Port Douglas after a “surveillance failure” allowed the boat to travel so far south last Sunday without being detected.
The boat was then abandoned about 200 meters off the shoreline, and the invaders used a rubber dinghy to land. Debris from the boat lay strewn across the nearby beach, and parts of the normally white sand were stained black from the partially submerged and leaking diesel—most likely the result of an attempted scuttling.
As soon as the boat was spotted, a hunt for the invaders was launched, with the last two—the captain and first mate—being taken into custody after being found hiding in the Daintree Rainforest.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was quoted as saying that the boat’s arrival was the result of a surveillance failure.
“I want to confirm for you today that Australia, we believe, has received the first vessel, the first people smuggling venture, in over 1,400 days,” Dutton said.
“”Clearly there’s been a failing when surveillance has not worked as it should in identifying this vessel or allowing this vessel to get as close to the coast as it has.
“But it’s a reminder that the people smugglers have not gone out of business.”
Dutton said the suspected asylum seekers would be deported.
“The threat of people smugglers hasn’t gone away and the arrival of this boat should be a very clear and timely message that people smugglers will put people onto boats, to take money from innocent, men women and children,” he said.
“We have been very clear that we won’t allow people who arrive illegally into our country to settle in this country. People will be deported from our country at the first available opportunity.”