Asfoor has all the answers

West Australian
By Roy Gibson
30 January 2004

A COCKY Keis Asfoor openly admitted in an interview three years ago that he was a people smuggler - and he was prepared to offer his advice on how Australia could solve the problem.

Asfoor was telephoned in Jakarta in July 2001 by SBS radio journalist Ghassan Nakhoul.

The conversation - in Arabic - was taped and broadcast later on SBS radio's Arabic Program.

Asked why he smuggled people into Australia, Asfoor said: "I swear by Allah that the reason for this sort of business is Australia.

"If Australia had turned back one ship, nobody would have come to Australia."

Asked if he considered people smuggling to be a crime, he said "If Australia closes the door and turn back one time a ship. The day a ship is turned back, I will stop this thing."

Nakhoul: I imagine it costs the Australian Government millions of dollars a year.

Asfoor: Allow me my brother - if Australia does not want this to happen, why do they not turn back a ship one time?

Nakhoul: Are there more people coming?

Asfoor: You, buddy, enter Jakarta and see. There are about 1000 people - a thing which makes you go nuts. The people keep entering. I am telling you, Australia should close the door. You should not blame Indonesia or us. Australia should turn back one ship. I'm telling you - turn back a ship, nobody will try to come.

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