Australian boat intercepts drop off

AFP-JIJI

Australia said Friday that just one asylum seeker boat had been intercepted over the past week, marking a sharp reduction under the government’s hard-line boat people policy, while eight alleged people smugglers have been arrested in Indonesia.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s vow to “Stop the Boats” was a centerpiece of his recent election campaign.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the government’s policies were working. Under Operation Sovereign Borders, 215 people were intercepted in the last three weeks, significantly down on the thousands who were routinely arriving off Australia each month earlier this year.