8 May 2013

People smuggler jailed in Indonesia

11:01 am on 8 May 2013

A former Afghan refugee who is now an Australian citizen has been convicted of people smuggling and sentenced to six years in prison in Indonesia.

The ABC reports Ali Qaseem, 57, of Sydney, was arrested in Indonesia last year for trying to take asylum seekers to the Java coast and on to Australia.

He denied involvement in people smuggling and said he was in the area looking for missing family members.

Along with the prison term imposed in Pandeglang District Court on Tuesday, Qaseem must pay a fine of about $A50,000. He has a week to decide whether to appeal.

The ABC reports Qaseem arrived in Australia by boat in 1999 as a refugee from Afghanistan.