11 Nov 2009

Australian court sentences people smugglers

10:55 am on 11 November 2009

Six Indonesian fishermen have been sentenced to five years jail for smuggling more than 150 Afghan citizens into Australian waters.

The ABC reports the men crewed boats from Indonesia between April and May this year.

Their boats were caught by Australian navy patrols. A court in Perth heard some of the vessels were leaking, overcrowded and had no life jackets.

The fishermen were offered about $A1,000 each for the trip. The court heard they would normally earn less than $A60 a month at home.

None were believed to be ringleaders in the smuggling operations.