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April 15, 2021

Officials allegedly paid people smugglers

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Australian officials allegedly paid people smugglers thousands of dollars to return to Indonesia. (File Pic)
Australian officials allegedly paid people smugglers thousands of dollars to return to Indonesia. (File Pic)

Australian officials allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to people smugglers to turn a boat full of asylum seekers back to Indonesia.

A boat carrying 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who were seeking asylum in New Zealand, was boarded by Australian custom officers in late May, Fairfax reported on Wednesday.

The boat was turned around and sent back to the Indonesian island of Rote, where the local police chief alleges the six crew members were given $5,000 each by Australian custom officials.

The Rota police chief said he saw the money himself, wrapped in six black plastic bags when the crew was apprehended for their people-smuggling operation.

 


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