Twenty Sri Lankan illegal immigrants who were on their way to Australia by a people smuggling vessel, were intercepted by the Australian authorities and sent back to Sri Lanka yesterday.
Australian media reported that Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed authorities intercepted the boat last week and the asylum seekers had been returned to Sri Lanka.
The asylum seekers were detained for a few days on Christmas Island before being flown to Colombo on a government charter jet on Wednesday after their asylum claims were rejected.
In a statement, the Australian High Commission yesterday said Australia remains committed to protecting its borders, stamping out people smuggling, and preventing people from risking their lives at sea.
Australian High Commissioner, David Holly, warned anyone considering illegal migration not to be fooled by the lies and false advertising of people smugglers.
“As the return of these people shows, there has been no change to Australia’s tough border protection policies following Australia’s recent Federal Election,” High Commissioner Holly said.
“Australia has zero tolerance for people smuggling, and people who attempt to come to Australia illegally by boat have zero chance of success.”
The High Commission said only way to travel to Australia was legally with an Australian visa.
“To find out more about options for safe and lawful travel to Australia, visit the Australian Immigration and Citizenship website (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/),” it said.