10 December 2008

Australia and Indonesia in talks about illegal immigration today

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will discuss illegal immigration and people smuggling syndicates with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during talks in Bali today, a government official said.

According to the Associated Free Press, the issues are being raised with the Indonesian President after authorities busted a syndicate organising people smuggling attempts through Indonesia. 

Reports claim that Indonesian diplomats in Afghanistan are selling visas to people intending migrate to Australia illegally.

Foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said the allegations had not damaged ties between Indonesia and Australia.

"There are no damaged relations between Indonesia and Australia.  President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd plan to discuss the issue at the Bali Democracy Forum," he said.

"We are investigating our embassy in Kabul over the allegation of corruption related to the issuance of Indonesian visas for Afghan migrants," he added.

The Australian migrant-hopefuls were apparently sold visas at $1,500 each.  Faizasyah said corruption in the ranks in the Indonesian visa departments should be easily identifiable. 

In related news, the Indonesian police and Australian officials arrested two ringleaders of the people smuggling trade into Australia last week.

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

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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