Australian police arrest Iraqi man over 350 asylum-seeker deaths

A boat carrying asylum seekers off the coast of Australia

Police in Australia have charged an Iraqi man with organizing a “people-smuggling venture” that led to more than 350 asylum-seekers drowning at sea. The ill-fated boat sank in international waters in 2001.

This boat carrying 150 suspected asylum-seekers sank north of Christmas Island in 2012

The 43-year-old suspect appeared in court in the Australian city of Brisbane on Saturday following his extradition from New Zealand.

Police allege he belonged to a syndicate that attempted to smuggle asylum-seekers into Australia on an Indonesian fishing boat in 2001. The vessel, known as Siev X, sank in international waters en route to Australia’s Christmas Island, resulting in the deaths of more than 350 people — most of them women and children.

Police said the man, then 24, accepted payments from the passengers to help them with transport and accommodation in Indonesia ahead of their sea journey to Australia.

Read more of this story

(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 13973 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.