KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A news report says Malaysian authorities have arrested eight Pakistanis believed to be waiting to travel illegally to Australia by boat.
Immigration official Arzillah Ahmad told the New Straits Times that the Pakistanis, aged 30-40, were found Wednesday hiding in a hut at a beach in southern peninsular Malaysia.
Arzillah said a Malaysian man was also detained in the raid but more than 150 other immigrants escaped into a nearby jungle. The newspaper said the Pakistanis were believed to have paid up to 15,000 ringgit ($5,000) each for a boat ride to the northern Australian city of Darwin.
Immigration officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Malaysia is a known transit point for people from impoverished or war-torn regions trying to get to Australia.