Suspected asylum seekers rounded up in Qld


An operation to track down suspected asylum seekers is underway after a boat ran aground in far north Queensland.

But a group of people recently arrived in northeast Australia on a fishing boat from Vietnam, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.

The Department of Home Affairs said the first priority was to confirm all those on the boat were safe.

It's been reported at least 11 people have been detained, however the Australian Border Force have not confirmed how many remain in hiding.

"Australia, we believe, has received the first. people-smuggling venture in over 1,400 days", he told reporters.

The boat starting taking on water near the mouth of the Daintree River near Cape Kimberley on Sunday afternoon.

"We need to make sure firstly that the people are safe in place, and then we can start the process of deportation as quickly as possible".

An illegal fishing boat has run aground and been found abandoned in crocodile-infested waters in northern Queensland, Australia.

The department did not respond to questions of whether the vessel was carrying asylum-seekers, illegal migrants or fishermen.

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Local Mayor Julia Leu told ABC there was concern that people were "putting themselves at risk in known crocodile habitat".

Under Canberra's tough immigration policy, asylum-seekers who try to reach Australia by boat are either turned back or sent to remote Pacific camps where conditions have been widely criticised.

Seven said those found were Indonesian, while The Australian said they were believed to be Vietnamese, adding that up to 40 people were believed to have been on-board the vessel.

The newly appointed defence industry minister, Steve Ciobo, said on August 27 those detained should be sent to "somewhere offshore" for processing.

MP George Christensen has since taken to social media to call for better border protection.

If true, the boat is believed to be the first asylum seeker vessel to reach the Australian mainland in four years. "Qld borders need to be made more secure esp given proximity of PNG & Indonesia, considering level of radical Islamism in Indonesia, Malaysia & Philippines", he tweeted.

Nine News reports the captured have since been treated by paramedics for fever and chills and transported to Cairns.

Eleven people have been detained so far, with police and border force officers continuing to scour heavily-forested areas near the river for others who were seen fleeing on foot.

Mr Ciobo, the incoming defence industry minister, said the incident showed there would always be people trying to sneak into Australia.