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18th April 2009, 03:44pm - Views: 507






People Immigration Minister For Immigration And Citizenship And Minister For Home Affairs 2 image


The Hon Bob Debus

Minister for Home Affairs

Senator Chris Evans

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship



MEDIA RELEASE



Media contacts: Samantha Wills – 02 6277 7290 or 0448 721 372 (Mr Debus)

                              Rhys Davies – 0411 138 572 or 02 6277 7860 (Senator Evans)


1804.09

18 April 2009


Third people smuggler jailed



The Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship,

Senator Chris Evans, today welcomed the jailing of the third Indonesian skipper involved in

recent people smuggling activity, saying it should send a strong message that Australia will

not tolerate such crimes.


Senator Evans said the six year jail term handed down to 31-year-old Man Pombili by the

Western Australian District Court, following the six-year and five-year jail sentences received

by two Indonesian skippers earlier this year, reinforced the message that those found guilty 

of people smuggling faced severe punishment.


Pombili pleaded guilty to smuggling 10 people into Australia after the boat he skippered was

located south of Ashmore Island by the Royal Australian Navy on November 19 last year. 

The boat had been holed, was flooding fast and sinking when the Navy found it and rescued

all those on board.


Earlier this month 58-year-old Amosh Ndolo was sentenced to five years’ jail for smuggling

16 people into Australia on October 6 last year, and last month 35-year-old Abdul Hamid

was sentenced to six years’ jail after pleading guilty to smuggling 12 people into Australia. 

The Royal Australian Navy intercepted the boat he skippered near Ashmore Reef on

September 29 last year.


“People smuggling is a dangerous crime that exploits vulnerable people during times of

desperation and demonstrates a callous disregard for the law,” Senator Evans said.  “This

has been reinforced by the tragic events of this week.”


The maximum penalty for the offence of organising to bring a group of five or more non-

citizens into Australia contrary to section 232A of the Migration Act 1958 is 20 years’

imprisonment.


Senator Evans said the Australian Government would continue to work with regional

partners to deal with issues involving irregular migration and people smugglers.


“The government has renewed efforts to work closely with regional countries including

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to prevent and deter people from attempting to enter

Australia unlawfully,” Senator Evans said.  “The Rudd Government has also consistently

made clear its commitment to maintain a system of mandatory detention and excision.”







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