Minister for Justice and Customs
Media Release
6 August 2003


A new fleet of patrol boats which will help reduce the impact of transnational crime in the region was today presented to Indonesian authorities by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty joined Senator Ellison in Fremantle for the official hand over of the five vessels to the Deputy Chief of the Indonesian National Police (INP), Commissioner General Kadaryanto.

The custom built catamarans will be used to patrol Indonesian waters and crack down on crimes crossing international borders such as people smuggling, drug importation and human trafficking.

As part of the $1.5 million patrol boat package, the AFP will provide familiarisation training to Indonesian marine police who will be using the vessels.

Senator Ellison said the new patrol boats would greatly enhance the ability of Indonesian authorities to identify and apprehend vessels engaged in criminal activity.

"This is part of the Australian government's ongoing commitment to assist our neighbours and ensure a collaborative and effective approach to fighting transnational crime," Senator Ellison said.

"The AFP has developed a unique relationship with Indonesian authorities and this cooperation has already proven enormously successful in combating crime and apprehending and prosecuting those responsible.

"In order to protect Australians from emerging crime trends we need to continue working with international law enforcement agencies to ensure the tightest possible security on international waters and to reduce opportunities for criminals to transcend borders," Senator Ellison said.

The AFP worked closely with INP to design the new vessels and manage their construction by Western Australian boat building company, LeisureCat Australia.

The vessels have been designed to handle the demands of open ocean patrol work in the Indonesian archipelago. The fibreglass catamaran hull will allow for speeds over 45 knots, enabling high speed pursuits. The boats are robust enough to travel 15 nautical miles from the Indonesian coastline but will be equally efficient in shallow waters, close to the shore or reefs.

Senator Ellison said the boats are also fitted with radar, depth sounder, Global Positioning System, VHF radio and CB marine radio.

Media Inquiries: Michael Barrett (02) 6277 7260 or 0419 424 359


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