Four refugees have agreed to resettle in Cambodia from Nauru amid reports the group has been secretly flown to Australia, according to the ABC.
Cambodia has agreed to take refugees from Nauru who tried to reach Australia by boat.
It is believed an Iranian couple and a single Iranian man along with an ethnic Rohingya man from Myanmar have accepted the Federal Government’s offer to resettle in the south-east Asian nation.
An asylum seeker advocate said the group arrived in Darwin on Sunday and was waiting in the Darwin Airport Lodge immigration facility.
The advocate said it was interesting the facility was being used, adding that it had not been used in months.
Fairfax Media reports the group arrived in Darwin on Sunday and is waiting in immigration accommodation before flying to Cambodia.
Fairfax says Cambodian officials – who insist on vetting the refugees before their arrival – have not been informed about the shift to Australia.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office has refused to provide details of the group, if they have arrived in Darwin or when they will arrive in Cambodia.
More details emerge of Australian Government offers to refugee
The ABC understands one of the people was offered $10,000 to take the deal, along with paid employment, free accommodation in Phnom Penh and a permanent visa.
The Federal Government’s offers to those on Nauru have also including language training and health insurance.
Flights have departed Nauru’s international airport for Brisbane and Darwin over the past fortnight.
The Phnom Penh Post reports an Iranian refugee on Nauru said the group had said they were travelling to Australia.
“They just disappeared for a while and they said that they are going to Cambodia, but they are in Australia now and wait(ing) for the flight to take them to Cambodia,” the refugee told the newspaper.
The first charter flight from Nauru was expected to leave as early as April 20.
Cambodia unaffected by federal budget aid cut
Cambodia has escaped deep cuts to Australian Government aid, details of which were revealed in Tuesday’s budget.
The Government late last year announced the aid budget was being cut by $1 billion.
Foreign aid to Africa has been cut by 70 per cent and the contribution to Indonesia nearly halved.
But Cambodia, Nauru and Papua New Guinea – all of which resettle or process asylum seekers or refugees on behalf of Australia – have largely been unaffected by the cuts.