Australia boat arrivals slow as Indonesia arrests smugglers
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia said on Friday that just one asylum-seeker boat had been intercepted over the past week, marking a sharp reduction under the government's hardline boatpeople policy, while eight alleged people smugglers have been arrested in Indonesia.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's vow to "Stop the Boats" was a centrepiece of his recent election campaign.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the government's policies were working. Under Operation Sovereign Borders, 215 people had been intercepted in the last three weeks, significantly down on the thousands who were routinely arriving each month earlier this year.
"The experience of people confronting our policies and our resolve is what makes the difference," Mr Morrison said in a weekly briefing.