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446 Indonesian boat crew still at Australian detention cells KUPANG, EAST NUSA TENGGARA - A total of 446 Indonesian boat crew members are still held in Australian prisons until this month for smuggling asylum seekers to that country, an ambassador said.

"Out of the number, 26 are children who are held in immigration detention cells and prisons across Australian states such as Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania," Indonesian ambassador to Australia Primo Alui Joelianto said at the Indonesia-Australia Joint Awareness Campaign on Anti-People Smuggling event here on Wednesday.

He said a total of 471 crew members meanwhile had been sent home to the country from 2008 to September this year consisting of 230 adult and 142 child crew members who were freed after a judicial process and 61 children who were sent home without a judicial process.

He said "among the factors or motives that drive them to get involved in the illegal activity is the pay, which is between Rp500,000 and Rp1 million for carrying out the job which only takes three to five days to finish."

Besides that he said there was also a pledge from their bosses that they could own the boats if they were able to carry out their job well. Another factor is they were forced by their passengers to direct their boats to Australian waters while at sea, he said.

"They also have been deceived by the passengers who asked to be taken to a certain place but when they were in the middle of the sea they then boarded a number of foreign passengers and asked them to take the foreigners to Australia," he said.

Primo said some crew members had also been willing to take the asylum seekers to Australia because they lacked information that they could be sent to jails like illegal fish poachers for one to two months for doing it.

According to Article 233 A of the Australian immigration Law anyone carrying non-Australian citizens into that country illegally may be sentenced up to 10 years in jail, he said.

The East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration spokesman, Fransiskus Salem meanwhile said that people smuggling is not a new case but its number has increased in the past few decades in Asia with Australia as the destination.

He said what is concerning is that East Nusa Tenggara has been mentioned as the most comfortable transit place because of its vicinity to the destination country.

He said the two countries could not close their eyes on the fact because the activity violates their territorial integrity. To prevent the activity to continue further he said efforts must be made to create stability and economic growth in the countries of origin of the illegal immigrants.


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Related blog entries (category 'Crime') Tags: illegal, fishing, Australia, waters


Posted in Crime @ 19 September 2012 17:00 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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