SMUGGLING LINKS PROBED - THE REFUGEE CRISIS
18 September 2001
INDONESIAN authorities have launched an investigation into alleged links between the most senior bureaucrat in the Indonesian justice department and a people-smuggling ring amid efforts by Indonesian authorities to crack down on illegal people-trafficking.
Justice Minister Yusril Mahendra has referred the allegations of corruption to the department's inspector-general for investigation. The accused official, Hasanuddin, is the department's secretary- general.
News of the investigation was reported yesterday in the Indonesian daily Koran Tempo only a week after Indonesian and Australian ministers agreed to step up co-operation to combat the people- smuggling rings.
The investigation into Mr Hasanuddin centres on his links to a migration agency owned by his sister-in-law which had its activities frozen at the end of August.
The company, PT Adalus, was accused of breaching immigration regulations by failing to monitor and report the whereabouts of migrants it had sponsored from Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.
Despite the investigation, Mr Hasanuddin has not been suspended from his duties.
The investigation into Mr Hasa nuddin shows the Government at least wants to be seen to be taking a tough line against human trafficking, although endemic corruption means progress is likely to be slow.