Australia welcomes new laws to combat people smuggling
The Australian Government has welcomed the passage of legislation to significantly strengthen Australia’s people smuggling laws.
The Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2010 supports the Government’s multi pronged approach to combating people smuggling by enabling the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to specifically investigate people smuggling and other serious border security threats.
In addition, the Bill includes additional offences targeting those who finance or provide support for people smuggling activities as well as strong penalties that recognise the seriousness of people smuggling offences, including:
¥ a new offence of providing material support for people smuggling with a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of $110,000;
¥ a new offence of people smuggling involving exploitation or danger of death or serious harm, applying to ventures entering Australia, with a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000;
¥ ensuring that where a person is convicted of multiple people smuggling offences, mandatory minimum penalties set out in the Migration Act are applied; and
¥ providing greater clarity and consistency by harmonising people smuggling offences in the Migration Act and the Criminal Code.
The Bill also enables Australia’s national security agencies to collect foreign intelligence about people smugglers and their networks.
The Government is committed to targeting criminal groups who organise, participate in and benefit from people smuggling activities, an Australian government communique said."This legislation represents an important part of the Government’s comprehensive approach to combating people smuggling", it noted.