09 March 2009

People smuggler gets 6 years' jail in Australia

An Indonesian people smuggler has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty in an Australian courtroom this month.

In an statement released by Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and Bob Debus, Minister for Home Affairs, said the jailing is meant to send a clear message that  Australia would not tolerate people emigrating to Australia illegally.

Abdul Hamid, the man tried for the crime, was found guilty this month of attempting to smuggle 12 people into Australia in September last year, when his boat was intercepted by the Australian Navy. 

"People smuggling is a crime that exploits vulnerable people during times of desperation and demonstrates a callous disregard for the law," Mr Debus said.

"The Australian Government has maintained extensive patrolling of our borders by Border Protection Command and organisers, skippers and crews of people smuggling ventures face long jail terms if caught and convicted."

The Government has used the court case to prove its commitment to protecting the borders of Australian from illegal immigration and its continued relationship building with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to better prevent smuggling rings from continuing their trade.

"The Rudd Government has also consistently made clear its commitment to maintain a system of mandatory detention and excision."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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