Suspected Australian people smuggler's passport cancelled

Secret evidence provided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has led to an Australian citizen accused of being a people smuggler being stripped of his passport.

Secret evidence provided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has led to an Australian citizen accused of being a people smuggler being stripped of his passport. 

ASIO alleges the man is a wealthy and experienced people smuggler.

The Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal recently dismissed the man's appeal against a federal government decision to cancel his passport and the case is now headed for the Federal Court.

Head of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, Stephen Blanks, told SBS the case is concerning.

He said ASIO has used Australia's national security laws to avoid taking the case before an open court.

"The most troubling aspect of this is an Australia citizen whose accused of a criminal offence is being dealt with not through the courts… but in a secret way by asio where he’s got no real opportunity to defend himself," he said.

"In the past, where people have been accused of people smuggling and they’re overseas, the Australian government has taken steps to extradite them to Australia… That’s the appropriate way of dealing with it."

Mr Blanks also dismissed proposed links between people smuggling and terrorism.

"There’s no evidence that there’s a link between people smuggling and national security concerns," he said.

"The fact is that vast bulk of people who enter Australia by boat and seek asylum are found to be genuine refugees. There have been no known cases of terrorists trying to get into the country that way. From a common sense point of view, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the easiest way for terrorists to enter the country.

"They’ll come in another way."

(Click on the audio tab above to hear the full interview)

 

Source World News Australia

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