SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON
Minister for Justice and Customs
Senator for Western Australia
7 November 2003
Alleged SIEV-X people smuggler extradited to Australia
Alleged people-smuggler, Khaleed Shnayf Daoed, has arrived in Brisbane to face charges over a people-smuggling operation that attempted to bring people to Australia aboard the vessel known as 'SIEV-X' in 2001, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, announced today.
Daoed, an Iraqi national, was brought to Australia following the recent decision of the Swedish Government to extradite him. He is alleged to have played an important role in the 'SIEV-X' operation which ended when the vessel sank in October 2001 during its voyage to Australia and approximately 353 people lost their lives.
Daoed is also alleged to have played an important role in arranging the voyage of another vessel which brought 147 illegal immigrants to Australia on 4 August 2001. He faces 12 charges under the Migration Act for his alleged people-smuggling activities and, if convicted, he could face up to 20 years' imprisonment. He also faces one charge of money-laundering arising from his alleged people smuggling activities.
Daoed is a co-accused of Abu Quassey, who is currently on trial in Egypt for people smuggling related offences arising from his role in organising a number of vessels carrying intended illegal immigrants to Australia. These vessels include the SIEV-X.
"Daoed's extradition is particularly welcome given his alleged role in the SIEV-X tragedy and the Australian Government is grateful for the cooperation shown by the Swedish authorities in this matter," Senator Ellison said.
"His extradition is the result of a long and successful investigation by the joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) People-Smuggling Strike Team," Senator Ellison said.
Daoed's arrival in Australia is further proof that the Australian Government will take all steps possible to ensure the criminals behind the abhorrent practice of people-smuggling will be brought to justice, wherever they are in the world.
Daoed's extradition to Australia follows the successful extradition of two other alleged people smugglers, Ali Al Jenabi and Hasan Ayoub, from Thailand in respect of other matters.
In the case of Abu Quassey, the Government has sought his extradition from Egypt. However, Egypt has commenced its own prosecution of Abu Quassey. The Government has provided all assistance to Egypt that is legally possibly to assist in Abu Quassey's prosecution.
"Australian Federal Police and DIMIA continue to work hard to pursue those who organise and facilitate the practice of people-smuggling - wherever they are in the world - and the Australian government will take all steps possible to ensure these people are returned to Australia to face prosecution."
Senator Ellison said in this case the AFP has worked collaboratively with the Swedish National Police through the AFP's international network.
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