Joint operations nab eight alleged people smugglers

MORE than 500 people have been stopped from getting on boats and eight alleged people smugglers arrested in Indonesia, amid joint operations with the Australian Federal Police and Customs.

AFP Commissioner Tony Negus said the eight arrests included three "high-value targets", after returning from a trip to Indonesia with Air Marshall Mark Binskin this week.

Comm Negus said the three "high-value targets" would be charged by Indonesia authorities with organising "multiple ventures to Australia".

Mr Negus said a warrant had also been issued for a "very significant" people smuggler, but authorities had not yet tracked down the target.

He said some 550 people were also stopped from getting on boats in the past week, as a result of 17 "disruption activities" in Indonesia.

Acting Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders, Mr Binskin said there had also been only one new boat arrival in the past week, with a boat intercepted near the Cocos Islands on Thursday night.

But he said as that arrival was "outside of the reporting period", he could not confirm how many people were on board, or their nationalities.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said another 111 asylum seekers were transferred to Nauru during the week, bringing the total there to 1059.

Mr Morrison, who returned from a trip to Nauru this week, said there were also 800 asylum seekers on Manus Island, including 94 children and family groups.

But he again refused to give any details about self-harm, suicide or other incidents on offshore processing centres, saying they were "matters operational".

"And for this reason, you won't hear this government giving oxygen to that type of behaviour because it runs the risk of endorsing that behaviour," he said.


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