SIEV-X people smuggler arrested in Sweden at Australia's request
Minister for Justice and Customs
23 May 2003
Alleged people smuggler Khaleed Shnayf Daoed was arrested by Swedish authorities yesterday after a request for his provisional arrest from Australian authorities, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison confirmed today.
Senator Ellison said the Australian Government was currently preparing a request for Mr Daoed's extradition from Sweden to stand trial in Australia. Sweden has enacted anti-people smuggling legislation which is necessary to support any such extradition request by Australia.
Mr Daoed, an Iraqi national, is alleged to have played an important role in a people smuggling operation that attempted to bring people to Australia aboard the vessel known as 'SIEV-X'.
This vessel sank during its voyage to Australia and approximately 353 people lost their lives. Mr Daoed is wanted in Australia to face charges for his alleged role in this people smuggling activity. If convicted, Mr Daoed could face up to 20 years imprisonment.
'I welcome the news that the Swedish authorities have acted so promptly to secure the arrest of Khaleed Daoed pending a request for his extradition to Australia,' Senator Ellison said.
'The Government is grateful for the cooperation shown by the Swedish authorities in this matter and looks forward to working with them to secure Khaleed Daoed's extradition to Australia.
Senator Ellison said the arrest was the result of a long investigation by the Australian Federal Police/Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs people smuggling strike team in conjunction with international law enforcement agencies.
Abu Quassey, who is also alleged to be one of the organisers of SIEV-X, has been detained in custody in Egypt until 15 June.
Abu Quassey was recently deported from Indonesia to Egypt. Australia had sought his extradition from Indonesia, however this was not successful as anti-people smuggling laws had not been enacted in Indonesia.
The Commonwealth understands that Egyptian authorities are investigating Abu Quassey's alleged involvement in people smuggling operations to prosecute him under Egyptian law.
Senator Ellison said Australia was seeking Abu Quassey's extradition from Egypt to face people smuggling charges in Australia.
'If Abu Quassey's extradition is refused, Australia will seek his prosecution in lieu and will assist Egyptian authorities in every way legally possible,' Senator Ellison said.
'The Commonwealth Government remains totally committed to having both Abu Quassey and Khaleed Daoed face justice in Australia for their alleged involvement in SIEV-X.'
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