Indonesian Parliament Criminalise’s People Smuggling
Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) April 07, 2011
The Gillard Government today welcomed the passage of legislation in Indonesia’s Parliament to criminalise the terrible crime of people smuggling.
Under Indonesia’s new laws, convicted people smugglers will face a minimum of five years jail and a maximum of 15 years behind bars.
“The Gillard Government has strongly advocated a regional solution to the global problem of people smuggling,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Our two nations have worked productively together on tackling people smuggling in recent times, including close co-operation between law enforcement agencies,” Mr O’Connor said.
Since September 2008, Indonesia has disrupted over 200 people smuggling ventures and stopped more than 5100 potential irregular arrivals from departing Indonesia. Indonesian authorities have also made more than 100 arrests in connection with people smuggling ventures.
“Comprehensive and robust laws are essential to deter, investigate and prosecute people smuggling activity across our region,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We’ve seen the deaths and injuries that these dangerous ventures can cause and these laws will help us better target the organisers of people smuggling operations.”
“It also presents a united front in our region – sending a clear message to people smugglers that their actions are criminal and they will be prosecuted.”
“The criminalisation of people smuggling in Indonesia is a major step forward and we welcome the action of the Indonesian Parliament today.”
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, said regional cooperation was vital to effectively tackling people smuggling.
“Australia and Indonesia share a very close relationship in the fight against people smuggling and people trafficking, as co-chairs of the Bali Process,” Mr Bowen said.
“Indonesia’s ongoing efforts are a critical part of what is now a concerted regional push to break the people smugglers’ business model. Australia looks forward to continued cooperation with our near neighbour.”
“Through our regional cooperation framework, we can help ensure people smugglers face justice wherever they attempt to ply their trade.”
Indonesia’s new laws will come into force upon the signature of the President or after 30 days.
At the Bali Process Ministerial Conference in March, participating countries agreed to a regional cooperation framework to reduce irregular movement through the region, as well as the importance of implementing strong national legislation to criminalise people smuggling and people trafficking activities and to confiscate the proceeds of crime obtained from these activities.
Australia has comprehensive people smuggling laws with penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment and mandatory minimum penalties for aggravated offences.
“Since September 2008, more than 130 people have been convicted of people smuggling offences have been convicted in Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The Government strengthened Australia’s people smuggling laws in May 2010 to ensure penalties recognised the seriousness of people smuggling offences and to target those who finance or provide support for people smuggling activities.
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