Indonesian authorities claim Australian government paid human traffickers not to return to Indonesia rather than land at Australia
- A boat crew arrested in Indonesia told the police that Australian authorities had paid them each A$5,000 (US$3,860) to turn back with the 65 migrants on board.
- Australia has made every effort to ensure that asylum seekers do not reach its shores, including turning boats back to Indonesia and detaining refugees in camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
- Australia’s Foreign Minister and Immigration Minister have denied the claims, but PM Tony Abbott has declined to comment, citing security reasons.
“Under Australian’s push-back policy we have been consistently saying they are on a slippery slope. … Should this situation be confirmed and it turns out to be true, it would be a new low for the way the government of Australia handles the situation on irregular migration.”
More on this story at Reuters.
(Image Credit: Reuters/David Gray)