The last detention centre is set to be closed next week after the final batch of Vietnamese boat people is repatriated. Sources said yesterday the High Island Detention Centre in Sai Kung would be closed next Friday after many of its 300 inmates were sent to Vietnam on Wednesday as part of the Orderly Repatriation Programme. Any remaining detainees would be held at the detention facility in Victoria Prison, Central, to be flown out later. Security officials refused to confirm the closure, but said the detention centre, the scene of riots and hunger strikes, would be kept. 'We will have to mothball the site to cater for any unexpected influx of new arrivals,' a Security Bureau spokesman said. A progressive closure of detention centres began in September 1996 when the boat people were all transferred from Tai A Chau. The Kai Tak transit centre ceased operating in March last year and Whitehead Detention Centre near Ma On Shan closed last June. Proposals have been made to convert the 45-hectare High Island site into a residential, recreation and conservation area. The migrant population reached a peak in October 1991, with more than 64,300 Vietnamese in 14 camps. Since 1975, more than 200,000 arrived in Hong Kong.