Australia Turns Back Another Boatload of Illegal Migrants

CHRISTMAS ISLAND - AUGUST 3: Suspected asylum seeker vessel arrives at Flying Fish Cove, C
Scott Fisher/Getty, file

For the second time in as many weeks Australia has turned back a boatload of illegal migrants, forcing the intended asylum seekers to return to their port of departure in Indonesia.

The group of 44 men has since landed on a remote Indonesian island after Australian authorities gave them speedboats equipped with supplies and told them to depart, Sky News reports.

The outlet details that according to local authorities, the group of 36 Bangladeshi and eight Rohingya were intercepted while trying to reach Australia from West Java’s southern coast but were intercepted by the Australian Broder Force (ABF).

They were detained at sea in their vessel for 18 days and not allowed to land before being provided with two modern speed boats, each equipped with just enough fuel, food and water for 22 people and a compass bearing to sail back to Indonesia’s southernmost island located some 286km from Australia’s Ashmore Reef.

RELATED: Australian Border Force Warning to Intending Illegal Boat Arrivals

Rote Ndao Police Chief Mardiono told The Australian newspaper the group had run out of almost all their supplies when they arrived on his island.

“They beached the boats when they see land because they’ve run out of fuel. When we checked the boats, they’ve run out of everything so they had no other choice than to land. I think (Australian authorities) have calculated how much fuel they need to get here,” he said.

The 44 men on Rote are now being processed by Indonesian immigration authorities since police found no indication that they were smugglers themselves.

It is the second time in as many weeks the Australian government has reportedly provided a group of asylum seekers with fully provisioned boats and told them to head back to Indonesia.

Last month a boat carrying nine Chinese nationals was also turned back by ABF officials forcing the passengers to return to their point of departure in Indonesia, as Breitbart News reported.

It was the fourth known attempt Chinese national groups have made to break through to Australia in 2024, after having been told by people smugglers that asylum awaits them should they make landfall.

Australia has long had one of the toughest anti-migrant boat policies in the world and never hesitates to push back vessels carrying intended illegals.

Operation Sovereign Borders, introduced by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2013, sees smuggler-boats intercepted at sea and migrants either returned to where they came from or taken to offshore processing centres.

Migrants found to be legitimate asylum seekers have been settled in third countries at Australia’s expense.

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