Australian Federal Police
X URL: http://www.afp.gov.au/page.asp?ref=/Media/2002/0824Ennis.xml
24 Aug 2002
On 17 and 24 February 2002, the Channel Nine Sunday program aired material relating to the alleged criminal activities of Australian citizen Kevin John Enniss. The program alleged that Enniss was responsible for facilitating the arrival of suspected unlawful non-citizens into Australia over a period of several years. The program further alleged that Enniss had conducted certain of these activities while being simultaneously engaged and funded as a Registered Informant for the Australia Federal Police (AFP).
Immediately following the screening of the program the AFP established an investigation team to examine the allegations. The investigation began on 19 February 2002 and the operational phase of the investigation was completed on 21 May 2002.
The Sunday program provided a quantity of their research material and access to their Indonesian based contacts.
A team of investigators traveled to Indonesia on two occasions between March 2002 and May 2002. Interviews were conducted with all Indonesian based witnesses with the assistance of Indonesian National Police. The subject of the investigation, Kevin John Enniss, was also formally interviewed.
The investigation found that no evidence exists to support the allegation made by Sunday that Kevin John Enniss landed unlawful non-citizens into Australia. The investigation found that the Indonesian nationals relied upon by Sunday in producing the program of 17 February 2002 had conspired together to fabricate the allegations against Enniss with a view to extracting significant monies from Sunday.
Other information collected by Sunday in support of their allegations against Enniss is consistent with Enniss' role as an informant. Put simply Enniss assumed an identity designed to convince asylum seekers to deal through him so he could report back to Indonesian authorities who could then interdict those asylum seekers. What Sunday observed, and was reported by others who were not aware of Enniss' formally sanctioned role, was Enniss acting out his cover story.
Dealing with media intrusion into the activities of informants is a complex and difficult issue. Taking the media into confidence on these matters potentially places the informant at risk. Failing to take the media into confidence potentially jeopardises the work and value of the informant as occurred in this case. What made this case more difficult was that Enniss was also working for Indonesian authorities and it would have been doubly inappropriate to disclose his informant status.
The activities of informants are a grey area and the AFP can appreciate how Sunday drew the conclusions they did from the information they had before them. Having said this the story relied heavily on the testimony of two key subjects who, when questioned by police, admitted to fabricating their whole account for financial reward.
In summary, no evidence of offences committed by Kevin John Enniss at Commonwealth law was identified by the AFP investigation.
To ensure that the investigation of this matter was as open and accountable as possible the investigation team was drawn from members who had no previous involvement in this matter. The investigation was also subject to oversight and review by the Commonwealth Ombudsman who has signed off on the report into this matter.
As is our standard practice the report of the investigation will not be made public. As this matter has attracted considerable public interest a summary that provides an insight into Enniss' role as an informant has been placed on the AFP website (www.afp.gov.au). The summary includes some of the major claims made in the Sunday program and the findings in relation to these claims arising from the investigation.
There are actions by Sunday in relation to this matter that are of concern to the AFP. Attempts to resolve these issues with Channel Nine have not been successful and the AFP has decided it will now take these matters to the Australian Broadcasting Authority by way of a formal complaint.
Media contact: Steve Jiggins Ph 041 113 2761
As is now a matter of public record Kevin John Enniss was one of the AFP's principal informants on the illegal people smuggling trade. Until September 2001 Enniss had been providing a regular stream of people smuggling intelligence to both AFP and the Indonesian Police agency POLDA. During the period that Enniss was working for AFP and POLDA, he was directly responsible for the interdiction of 451 asylum seekers attempting to make their way to Australia.
AFP expended $25,527 associated with the management of Enniss as an AFP informant. The interdiction of the 451 asylum seekers resulted in a saving to the Australian government in excess of $22 million.
Approximately $150,000 in Australian taxpayer's money has been expended to date by the AFP in investigating the allegations raised by Sunday.
Enniss' cover story as an informant was designed to convince asylum seekers to deal through him so he in turn he could report back to POLDA who then interdicted those asylum seekers. Although POLDA knew the identities of most of the actual smugglers, people smuggling as such is not an offence known to Indonesian law. POLDA, in conjunction with Enniss, were engaged in strategies designed to interdict asylum seekers where possible before they could depart for Australia.
According to Sunday, a senior Indonesian Government official told how he warned the Australian Embassy in Jakarta months before Sunday confronted Enniss that the Australian was a suspected criminal, involved in people-smuggling and that his warning appears to have been ignored. The senior Indonesian Government official referred to was the then Chief of Immigration in Kupang, That official told AFP investigators that his department has no evidence that Enniss was a people smuggler.
During the Sunday report Enniss claims to Sunday that all his people-smuggling activities were authorised by the Australian Federal Police - including taking money off asylum-seekers, who had paid him to get them into Australia. But in an interview with the Sunday program, the Director of International Operations for the Federal Police, Dick Moses, categorically rejected any suggestion that any informant would ever have been authorised to involve themselves in people-smuggling. Mr Moses' statement is correct. The AFP investigation has established that insofar as Sunday's allegations are concerned, Enniss was purporting to be a people smuggler and reporting either to his AFP or POLDA controllers. On at least one occasion, and in connection with an interdiction operation being controlled by POLDA, money was passed by asylum seekers, to Enniss, with the full knowledge of POLDA. That money was used to transport, accommodate and feed the asylum seekers prior to their thwarted attempt to leave Indonesia for Australia. Those monies were accounted for by POLDA.
Sunday claimed that evidence of Enniss' complicity in people-smuggling was in fact provided to officers in the Polda Police intelligence section in Kupang early last year. Fed up with their warnings about Enniss being ignored, Indonesian Immigration obtained this formal statement from six Afghans who'd paid money to Enniss in February last year. The Afghans testified that Enniss had taken about 2000 Australian dollars from them to introduce them to a 'Ka-chuck-chi' - their word for a people-smuggler. Both Enniss and his POLDA controllers have been interviewed by AFP regarding the so-called Afghan's statement and confirm that a transaction of that nature did take place albeit that the money was not handed to Enniss by the Afghans but indirectly through a 3rd party. Neverthless the transaction was undertaken with the full knowledge of POLDA and in conjunction with Enniss' role as a POLDA informant and during what was effectively a controlled POLDA operation. That the above was in fact part of a POLDA controlled operation was corroborated by IOM in Kupang who had been briefed in advance.
Sunday showed images of a confidential intelligence report detailing how Enniss had taken 29 middle eastern illegal immigrants from the ferry terminal to his home. Sunday claimed the POLRE police officer was in no doubt that Enniss was intent on smuggling them to Australia. Enniss' POLDA controllers advised that they received a number of reports, including from within their own ranks, of Enniss' activities in Kupang however that those reports were expected and consistent with the fact that only a dedicated few POLDA officers new Enniss' actual role as an informant, at least until Sunday effectively exposed him. The author of that information report was not privy to Enniss' actual role. Again, the incidents surrounding the 29 asylum seekers being housed in Enniss' residence were part of a formal interdiction operation being managed by POLDA and with the assistance of IOM.
Sunday noted references to the Australian Navy by Enniss as further proof of his people smuggling operations. The Australian Navy issue was concocted by Enniss as part of his cover story designed to instill confidence in the minds of asylum seekers that he could deliver.
Sunday speculated that Australian taxpayers had paid for part of a house at Enniss was living in a salubrious part of Surabaya. The house he was living in is leased by Enniss' Australian based employer. Enniss was occupying same at no cost to him.