Operation Sovereign Borders monthly update: August 2019

This statement provides an update on Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) activities related to the on-water reception and processing of illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs).

The reporting period is from 1 August 2019 to 31 August 2019.

During this reporting period there were 52 IMAs transferred from Regional Processing Countries to Australian Immigration authorities.

No IMAs were transferred from Australia to a regional processing country.

Three IMA detainees, who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014, were voluntarily removed from Australia. No IMA detainees were involuntarily removed from Australia to their country of origin, consistent with Australia’s obligations.

During this same period, the Australian Government intercepted a maritime people smuggling venture from Sri Lanka with 13 Sri Lankan nationals on-board. None of the potential illegal immigrants or crew aboard the vessel engaged Australia’s protection obligations, and all 13 people were successfully returned to Sri Lanka in close cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government.

Two IMAs voluntarily returned to their country of origin from a regional processing country.

As at 31 August 2019, there was a total of 0 people in the Nauru RPC. The Manus RPC closed on 31 October 2017.

The processing of refugee claims are matters for the governments of PNG and Nauru.

Sri Lankan authorities advised they detained 12 potential illegal immigrants (PII) who were allegedly scheduled to embark on a maritime venture to Australia. During subsequent enquiries, Sri Lankan authorities advised they had detained another 10 PII who were destined for the same venture to Australia. One venture organiser was also arrested.

Sri Lankan authorities advised they had arrested a Sri Lankan national who they believed facilitated a maritime venture to Australia in October 2012.

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