Migrants on a boat headed for Australia have told the UN that the crew was paid by the Australian navy to turn back.
James Lynch, a spokesman for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR), told the BBC that passengers saw smugglers being paid after the boat was intercepted.Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is keeping, sorta, mum;
Speaking to Radio 3AW on Friday morning, Mr Abbott refused to deny that a payment had been made, saying simply that "creative strategies" had been developed to stop the migrant boats.
"We have stopped the trade and we will do what we have to do to ensure that it stays stopped," he said.Paying for something rarely 'stops' it, but the economics is interesting. Is it less costly to pay 'tribute', than for defense?