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Australia increases pressure, cash offers for PNG asylum seekers to return home

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Asylum seekers on Manus Island pressured to take amounts of up to $25,000 to return to their countries, or face deportation

  • Failed asylum seekers offered up to $25k to voluntarily go home

  • About 860 men held on PNG's Manus Island under Australian policy

  • Australia says "substantial assistance" offered to non-refugees

  • Increased urgency comes amid doubts about US refugee swap plan

By Colin Packham and Aaron Bunch

SYDNEY, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Officials at an Australian immigration centre in Papua New Guinea are increasing pressure on asylum seekers to return to their home countries voluntarily, including offering large sums of money, amid fears a deal for the United States to take refugees has fallen through.

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