Alleged people smuggler bound for Australia
Sydney Morning Herald
August 27 2002
An alleged Pakistani people smuggler is expected to be sent to Australia after a Thai court yesterday accepted an extradition request. The Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, said Hasan Ayoub, who was arrested in December, is alleged to have have helped smuggle almost 400 asylum seekers from Indonesia to Australia between December 2000 and April 2001.
Ayoub, 33, has 15 days to file an appeal. Despite the avenue of appeal, the Government welcomes the development, Senator Ellison said.
"Mr Ayoub was previously deported from Cambodia after he served five months in prison when he and others were found guilty in December 2001 of offences under Cambodian immigration law," Senator Ellison said.
There are 13 people-smuggling charges under the Migration Act against him. Some of the charges carry sentences of up to 20 years' imprisonment.
Australia provided evidence to justify the criminal charges laid against Ayoub to meet some of the terms of the extradition arrangement with Thailand, Senator Ellison said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday announced a plan to further tighten people-smuggling laws to penalise those operating out of Australia.
"We will criminalise where an offender is an Australian citizen or resident, the smuggling of a person, even where the person did not transit through Australia,." Senator Ellison said.
Australia has also asked Thailand to extradite another alleged people-smuggler, Iraqi national Ali Hassan Abdolamir Al Jenabi, 31, who is wanted on 11 charges of people smuggling.