18 May 2009
People emigrating to Australia illegally caught mid-journey
Fifty-five people emigrating to Australia illegally through Indonesia from Sri Lanka were caught by authorities last week on their boat off the Aceh province, reports Reuters.
The people admitted to emigrating to Australia using an illegal pathway, each with the intention of gaining employment in Australia.
"They admitted they were from Sri Lanka heading to Australia to find a job there," Ari Subijanto, the head of Nagan Raya police in Aceh on the tip of Sumatra, said by telephone.
The men have been detained by police in Aceh, and are looking to be deported to Sri Lanka as they did not have strong cases for asylum.
Opponents to the Australian government's asylum laws have argued that Australia is now viewed as an easy target for people emigrating to Australia illegally, and have used the increased traffic caught this year as their evidence. Most of those refugees caught emigrating to Australia illegally in Indonesia or Australian waters have originated from Afghanistan.
Since April, nearly 100 Afghans have been caught in Indonesia emigrating to Australia without a visa or a legal right to do so. Nearly 400 Rohingyas from Burma were also caught in Aceh waters on motor-less boats trying to escape the unrest in Myanmar.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.