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Australia to give Customs boats to M'sia

The Australian government said it will give Malaysia two Customs boats as a gift, as part of a strategy to tackle people-smuggling in the region.

Most asylum-seeker boats bound for Australia make the precarious journey from Indonesia.

But Malaysia is sometimes used as a transit country to transport people through the Thai-Malaysian border to Sumatra across the Malacca Strait, AFP reported.

The Bay Class vessels, which Australia is phasing out, will be handed over in the middle of next year.