Dean Penelope Mathew and Alleged People Smuggler Payments

Dean of the Griffith Law School comments on allegations that the Australian government paid people smugglers to return asylum seekers to Indonesia.  The claim is being investigated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).  It has been reported that James Lynch, Regional Director of UNHCR has been “told by the 65 passengers … that they were intercepted by a naval vessel from Australia. And then they were transferred to a customs boat where they spent four days. And then they were put on two blue boats and then sent back to Indonesia.”  The head of UNHCR, Antonio Guterres has strongly criticised Australia saying the country should not be paying off criminal gangs. “We need to crack down on smuggling and trafficking: not paying to them, but putting them in jail whenever possible, or prosecuting them,” he told the BBC.

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