Australia’s Vietnamese community has told SBS that at least one of the asylum seekers among the most recent group was jailed after coming back.
The group of 46 asylum seekers were detained at sea by Australian authorities for a month, before being returned to Vietnam in July.
Concerns had previously been raised for the group, but Peter Dutton said the Australian government had sought assurances from its Vietnamese counterparts for the safety of asylum seekers before sending them back.
Speaking to Vietnamese community leaders in Revesby on Thursday, Mr Dutton said he was not aware of any arrests.
“I’m not aware of anybody being incarcerated but I would expect – as you would expect from the Australian government, as the Indonesian government does – they would interview people to determine who’s the mastermind behind the venture,” he said.
“As you would expect, that would happen from most countries where the boat venture originated from and that’s the sovereign right of governments to conduct those investigations. But the Australian Government sought assurances from the Vietnamese Government in relation to the treatment of those people on their return.”
The government’s border control came under scrutiny last month, when a suspected asylum seeker vessel came within 140km of Western Australia’s north coats.
Concerns over the detention and questioning of asylum seekers on the high seas has also come under fire last year, when lawyers took the Department of Immigration to the High Court after holding more than 150 people travelling from India.