Another boat has been intercepted north of the Cocos Islands, taking to about 580 the number of suspected asylum seekers who have arrived in Australian waters in the past week.
The latest boat intercepted by a Border Protection Command vessel on Thursday evening was carrying 31 suspected asylum seekers, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement.
It was the eighth boat stopped by Australian authorities since last Friday.
On board were a total of 500 suspected asylum seekers, while another 77 were found on the Cocos' North Keeling Island on Sunday.
The newest arrivals will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, health and identity checks and their reasons for travel will be established.
Mr Clare said on Friday people arriving by boat without a visa since the Federal Government reinstated offshore processing run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed a deal with Nauru's President Sprent Dabwido earlier this week to reopen an asylum seeker processing centre in the Pacific country.Meanwhile the search continues for survivors from an asylum seeker boat that sank off Java in Indonesia on Wednesday morning. Fifty-four have been rescued but more than 90 remain missing.
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