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Australia 'paid crew of asylum-seeker boat to turn back'

Australia introduced tough immigration policies in 2013 to stop an influx of would-be refugeesThe captain and crew of a boat carrying 65 asylum-seekers say Australian authorities paid them thousands of dollars to turn around and return to Indonesian waters, police said Wednesday. The migrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka came ashore on Rote island in eastern Indonesia in late May, after they were intercepted en route to New Zealand by the Australian navy. The captain and five boat crew, who are all being detained in Rote on people-smuggling charges, told police they were each paid US$5,000 by an Australian immigration official to turn back to Indonesia, local police chief Hidayat told AFP.

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