Agents 'sank refugee boats'

By JIM DICKINS in Canberra
Adelaide Advertiser
3 September 2002

THE Commonwealth Ombudsman may investigate claims Australian agents deliberately sank boats crowded with asylum seekers.

Australian Federal Police informant Kevin Enniss told Channel 9's Sunday program [sic] he paid Indonesian locals to sabotage boats so they would sink while still close to Indonesia.

Mr Enniss is an Australian citizen based in Indonesia.

The AFP has admitted paying Mr Enniss, who is not a police officer, more than $25,000 over several months for information that helped prevent 421 boat people embarking for Australia.

It has also admitted allowing him to pose as a people smuggler and accept payment from asylum seekers as part of ``acting out his cover story''.

A spokesman for AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said he would view the claims before responding.

A spokesman for Commonwealth Ombudsman Ron McLeod said senior staff in the Ombudsman's police section were reviewing the evidence and would soon present their case.


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