Second group of asylum seekers wanders into Australian town – after 30 turn up on an ‘undetected’ boat and are found on side of the road

A second group of asylum seekers has landed undetected in northern Australia and shocked locals by wandering into a remote campsite.

The group of 13 men walked into the Indigenous-run Pender Bay campsite, which is 180km north of Broome in Western Australia, shortly before 5pm on Friday and reportedly identified themselves as 12 Bangladeshis and one Indian.

It follows around 30 male asylum seekers, who said they were from Bangladesh and Pakistan, turning up on Friday morning near the Indigenous community of Beagle Bay, which is about 51km south of Pender Bay. 

The discovery of more unexpected boat arrivals threatens to ignite a political stoush over borders, a historical sore point electorally for Labor. 

Photos of the newly arrived men at Pender Bay show they have suffered from cuts and other minor injuries likely from walking through mangroves and scrambling over rocks to get ashore, with the wounds being attended to by an Indigenous local.

More apparently undetected asylum seekers have landed in the north of Western Australia, and were discovered at Pender Bay around 51km north of where the first group was discovered 

When shown reports of the group that was found earlier in the day at Beagle Bay the men professed no knowledge of them. 

WA police were reported to have arrived at the settlement late on Friday.

Locals have also begun scouring the coastline for any more undetected arrivals. 

Australian Border Force told media on Friday they were conducting an ongoing operation in the north of WA. 

‘As this operation is ongoing, no further information will be provided,’ the ABF said in a statement.

‘Australia’s tough border protection policies means no one who travels unauthorised by boat will ever be allowed to settle permanently in Australia.

‘The only way to travel to Australia is legally, with an Australian visa.’

Some of the first group of asylum seekers who were discovered in the remote north of WA on Friday morning

Some of the first group of asylum seekers who were discovered in the remote north of WA on Friday morning

The first group of asylum seekers said they arrived by boat from Indonesia, but it is unclear how many vessels were involved the ABC reported.

Beagle Bay locals told said left the community in a bus early on Saturday, having apparently spent the night at the local school.

The bus appeared to be heading in the direction of the Curtin RAAF base.

A Nauru Airlines plane left the Curtin base mid-morning, arriving at Broome International Airport shortly after, where it remains.

Australia has an offshore immigration detention centre at Nauru.

On Friday Opposition Leader Peter Dutton launched into Prime Minister Anthony Albanese claiming the undetected arrivals showed he was being soft on borders, a historical electoral sore point for Labor. 

Mr Dutton also zeroed in on Mr Albanese telling reporters he was unaware of Friday morning’s arrivals because he had been travelling by car. 

‘There are some disturbing reports of the latest boat arrival, this would be at least number 12 under this prime minister’s watch,’ Mr Dutton said. 

‘The Prime Minister’s phone works in the car, he should’ve taken a call, he should’ve called his minister in return to ask what is going on,’ Mr Dutton told reporters.

‘People smugglers can pick out a weak leader, a weak prime minister and a weak minister and it’s exactly what they’ve done.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he has been assured that Border Force is handling matters professionally

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he has been assured that Border Force is handling matters professionally

Mr Dutton attempted to link the new arrivals to the controversy over Albanese government’s handling of immigration detainees with criminal records being freed by a High Court order in November, only to see a number arrested.

The Home Affairs Department revealed earlier this week 24 of the 149 people released have already been charged for visa condition breaches or state offences 

‘Now we’ve warned about this for some time, all of the core factors like releasing the 149 criminals (under the High Court ruling), watering down Operation Sovereign Borders, Mr Dutton said. 

‘That sends a clear message to the people smugglers, and that’s when they get back in business, and that’s when we see boat arrivals’.

Mr Albanese told the media on Saturday that he had been in contact with Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and the commander of taskforce Operation Sovereign Borders, Rear Admiral Brett Sonter and was reassured things was under control.

‘We don’t talk about the detail of operational matters but I’m very comfortable that the Operation Sovereign Borders has been put in place,’ he saidl’

‘It’s the same system that operated before and we will make announcements about what has occurred there…when that occurs.’

‘Our position on Operation Sovereign Borders is very clear, and people who attempt to arrive here by boat will not settle here.’

Australian Border Force have been contacted for comment.