Border protection authorities have discovered two more asylum seeker boats carrying about 146 passengers heading to Australia.

HMAS Launceston went to the aid of a boat north-east of Ashmore Islands yesterday afternoon, Home Affairs minister Jason Clare said today.

It is believed to have 80 passengers on board.

Overnight, another vessel with 66 passengers was found north-west of Christmas Island.

HMAS Childers and HMAS Maitland separately assisted it.

Mr Clare said Border Protection Command would now make arrangements for the passengers on both boats to be taken to Christmas Island for initial health, security and identity checks.

“People arriving by boat without a visa after 13 August 2012 run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country,” he said.

The West Australian

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