News/Australia: Warning as three Indonesian people-smugglers jailed

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Subject: News/Australia: Warning as three Indonesian people-smugglers jailed
From: Jeffrey D. Ballinger (jeffreyd@mindspring.com)
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 09:42:55 EDT


> Warning as three Indonesian people-smugglers jailed
>
> PERTH, Australia, May 31 (AFP) - Another stern warning was issued on
> Wednesday by a judge about the severe penalties which can be expected by
> people-smugglers caught attempting to bring illegal immigrants into
Australia.
>
> In the District Court of Western Australia, Judge David Charters gave the
> warning as he jailed three Indonesians for up to six years for smuggling
228
> illegal migrants into Australia last year.
>
> "A clear message must be sent to others minded to engage in this trade
that,
> upon apprehension, they can expect to face a very substantial penalty," he
> said.
>
> "You did not involve yourselves in this trade to assist the passengers;
you
> did so simply for financial gain."
>
> Judge Charters gave a similar warning in the same court 12 days ago when
he
> jailed an Indonesian seaman for seven years for bringing 282 illegal
> immigrants into the country.
>
> The three men, sentenced on Wednesday and who cannot be named for legal
> reasons, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching the
> newly-toughened Australian Migration Act by taking the illegal immigrants
> from Ambon, Indonesia, to Australia.
>
> Two received six-year sentences, with parole eligibility after three
years,
> while the other was jailed for five years, with parole available after
> two-and-a-half years.
>
> The 25-metre motorised wooden vessel the men were crewing was intercepted
at
> Christmas Island on December 20 last year.
>
> The judge said the offence was "close to the mid-range" of the crime, but
not
> as high as the incident in which 282 passengers were brought into the
country
> in a much smaller vessel.
>
> However, he said he regarded the boat to be "quite overloaded".
>
> He told the men: "You prey on the desires of refugees to seek out a better
> life. Your passengers are often tricked into paying large amounts of money
to
> come to Australia on the promise of large incomes and a better life.
>
> "Those whom you bring to Australia may face criminal charges,
incarceration
> in relatively uncomfortable conditions, eventual repatriation back to
their
> homeland and the loss of all that they have spent in trying illegally to
> enter this country."
>


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