Boat carrying suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted

A BOAT carrying 49 suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted following revelations illegal boats cost tax payers more than $1 billion last year.

Border protection officers intercepted the boat north-west of the Cocos Island on Saturday.

The 49 people on board were taken to the Cocos Islands where they will undergo health and security checks before being transferred to Christmas Island.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's annual report, illegal boat arrivals last financial year cost $1.4 billion, a budget blow-out of $296 million.



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