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

During this reporting period there were 26 IMAs transferred from a regional processing country to Australia for medical purposes or were an accompanying family member.

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

Four IMA detainees, who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014, were voluntarily removed from Australia. One IMA detainee was involuntarily removed from Australia to their country of origin, consistent with Australia’s obligations.

In early October 2019, Sri Lankan authorities arrested two Sri Lankan nationals for their alleged involvement in an illegal maritime venture destined for Australia that departed Sri Lanka in February 2012 with 70 potential illegal immigrants on-board.

On 18 October 2019, Maythem Radhi was extradited from New Zealand and upon arrival in Australia was charged by the AFP with people smuggling offences. The charges relate to SIEV X that sank on-route to Australia in October 2001 where over 350 people died. A hearing date has not yet been set.

One IMA voluntarily returned to their country of origin from a regional processing country.

As at 31 October 2019, there were zero people in the Nauru Regional Processing Centre (RPC). The Manus RPC closed on 31 October 2017.

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

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