Indonesian authorities say they have arrested the leader of a people smuggling ring thought to be responsible for the deaths of 350 people when a boat filled with asylum seekers sank last month.
A spokesman for Indonesia's national police chief says authorities arrested an Egyptian, Abu Quassey, and one of his gang members in West Java Sunday. A search is said to be continuing for four other members of the people smuggling ring.
The Indonesian spokesman says Australia has identified Mr. Quassey as a prime suspect in a number of cases of asylum seekers being brought illegally from the Middle East to Australia via Indonesia.
At least 350 asylum seekers, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan, died last month when they boat they were in sank before reaching Australia.
Some of the 44 who survived say they paid the people smugglers up to four thousand dollars to board the ship.