Operation Sovereign Borders monthly update: July 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 July 2019 to 31 July 2019.

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

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

4 IMA detainees, who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014, were voluntarily removed from Australia. 2 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 5 Sri Lankan nationals on board. None of the potential illegal immigrants aboard the vessel engaged Australia’s protection obligations, and all 5 people were successfully returned to Sir Lanka in close cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government.

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

As at 31 July 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.

In July 2019, Sri Lankan authorities arrested a Sri Lankan national for facilitating a people smuggling venture destined for Australia in 2013. The venture departed from Beruwela, Sri Lanka on 19 May 2013 with 86 passengers on board and was intercepted by Australian authorities near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

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