Immigration

Alleged people-smuggler to face trial in Perth

Ahmad Zia Alizadah arrives at Perth Airport in July. Source: AAP

The Afghan national is accused of smuggling over 200 asylum seekers on boats intercepted by Australian authorities.

A man accused of smuggling over 200 asylum seekers into Australian waters has appeared in a Perth Court, after being extradited from Indonesia earlier this year. 

Afghan national Ahmad Zia Alizadah is accused of 10 people-smuggling offences dating back to 2010 and was extradited to Perth in July.

Appearing via video link from Casuarina prison in Western Australia, Mr Alizadah pleaded not guilty to the charges with the help of a translator.

He was remanded in custody and will go to trial on January 19th at the Perth District Court.

 

Mr Alizadah is the ninth person to be extradited from Indonesia over people-smuggling since 2008.

He was arrested by Indonesian police in 2015 but his extradition was not approved by Indonesian President Joko Widodo until June 2017.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and Justice Minister Michael Keenan released a joint statement at the time of the extradition, saying, in part:

"People smuggling is a crime with global dimensions that can only be tackled through hard work and cooperation with our international partners. The illegal maritime pathway to Australia is closed, and it will remain closed. It has been more than 1,000 days since a successful people-smuggling venture reached Australia."

Mr Ahmad allegedly charged around $5000 to $12000 per person for asylum seeking journeys which were intercepted by Australian authorities between February and May 2010.

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