Malaysia stops asylum seeker boat

26 April 2011, source from:

Malaysian authorities say they have arrested 13 Afghans who sought to travel illegally to Australia by boat.

A maritime security official said the coast guard spotted the men on Sunday in waters off Southern Peninsular, Malaysia.

The official from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said most of the Afghans entered Malaysia by land from Thailand.

The official said today that the men paid up to $US7,000 ($6,566) to a people smuggling group to take them.

The Afghans face jail terms for illegally entering Malaysia.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of agency protocol.

Malaysia is a known transit point for people from impoverished or war-torn regions trying to get to Australia.

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