Man charged with people smuggling offences
A 40-year-old Fairfield man is scheduled to appear in Sydney Central Local Court today charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with people smuggling offences.
The AFP arrested the man this morning (16 November) following a search warrant on a residence in Fairfield, New South Wales.
The arrest follows a five month investigation by the AFP’s People Smuggling Strike Team (PSST) in Melbourne into a number of people who have arrived in Australia unlawfully.
The AFP will allege in court that the man facilitated the entry of non-citizens into Australia between August and November 2009, on board Suspected Irregular Entry Vessel (SIEV) 71.
The AFP has charged the man with one count of organizing or facilitating the entry into Australia of a group of five or more people, contrary to section 232A(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment.
This arrest brings the total number of alleged people smuggling organisers charged by the AFP in Australia to 18.
The AFP is a member of the Australian Government’s People Smuggling Taskforce to support a whole-of-government approach to combating people smuggling.
The PSST includes members from the the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), who assisted the AFP throughout the investigation.
The AFP is committed to disrupting people smuggling syndicates operating within Australia.
Anyone who has information they believe may be relevant to people smuggling activities is urged to contact the AFP via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, the AFP hotline on 1800 813 784 or through the AFP website at www.afp.gov.au
All information provided will be fully assessed, with a view to it potentially forming part of future investigations.