Call for inquiry into federal police


ACCUSATIONS federal police may have acted outside the law to combat people smuggling cartels operating in Indonesia led to calls for a full judicial inquiry into the allegations.

The Nine Network said it appeared the Australian Federal Police had actively supported an Australian man - Kevin John Enniss - to infiltrate people smuggling gangs. Mr Enniss last year admitted to having worked for the AFP as an informant, but denied having worked as a people smuggler.

He also boasted he had helped sabotage boats en route to Australia.

But the Nine Network's Sunday program today said Mr Enniss had also taken money from refugees seeking passage to Australia, before handing them over to Indonesian police, all with the knowledge of the AFP.

Sydney University criminal law expert Mark Findlay told the program he believed the AFP may have broken Commonwealth laws.

"Under Australian law if he's a people smuggler it's a crime," he said.

"I believe that Enniss represented himself as a people-smuggler, most probably was a people-smuggler, that Enniss carried out his activities with the knowledge of the AFP and perhaps with some limited authority," he said.

"He misrepresented himself and took money as a consequence.

"All those issues tend to make me believe that offences were committed under Commonwealth law."

The program also said the revelations contradicted evidence given by AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty to a Senate Committee this year, when he denied the AFP sought to actively disrupt people smuggling gangs.

"The people who conduct the disruption - or the intervention - are the people with the power to conduct a disruption, being the Indonesian National Police, the Indonesian defence and sometimes the Indonesian Immigration," Mr Kelty said.

"Informants do not disrupt. They have no power to disrupt."

Sunday talked to several asylum seekers who claimed to have paid Mr Enniss up to US$1250 a head to smuggle them to Australia.

Labor home affairs spokesman John Faulkner said the allegations were disturbing and raised serious questions about AFP operations in Indonesia.

"These matters must be investigated by a full, independent, judicial inquiry," Senator Faulkner said.

The AFP last month lodged a formal complaint with the Australian Broadcasting Authority complaining about Channel Nine's investigations into Mr Enniss.

Indonesian nationals relied upon by Sunday to support its allegations fabricated evidence with a view to receiving generous payment, the AFP said.

Back to