Australia: Police Disband People Smuggling Ring
Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested five members of a suspected people smuggling ring in multiple raids on Thursday, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The AFP said the five suspects, three Afghans, one Iranian, and one Pakistani, were picked up in raids conducted in New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia, bringing the total of people smuggling arrests in Australia to 26 since 2009.
Asylum seekers frequently travel illegally from Indonesia to Australia.
Police stated that the suspects had operated in every state and territory in Australia save for Tasmania, and had arranged up to 132 boat trips to Australia to smuggle people. Four of the five suspects said that they arrived in Australia by boat as well.
Human rights groups have criticized the Australian government for its failure to let asylum seekers into the country and for punishing both refugees and the networks helping them. The United Nations has expressed disapproval of Australian immigration policies.