Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, June 27, 1999 Published at 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

Australia to crack down on illegal immigrants

Sydney: A key destination for illegal immigrants from China

Australia has announced a new campaign to try to combat the increasing problem of human trafficking.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Sunday that a new coastal surveillance programme would be set up to stem the tide of illegal immigrants into the country.

Plans also include putting more immigration officers overseas and increasing cooperation between the intelligence services.

In the past few months, waves of illegal immigrants have arrived from east Asia on Australia's western, northern and eastern coasts. Many were from the People's Republic of China.

A task force comprising military and naval experts was appointed to study the problem at the beginning of June, after more than 100 boatpeople from China were detained when they tried to sail into Sydney.

Syndicate bosses

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer said at the time that gangsters organising the smuggling of people from China were spreading rumours that it would be easy to settle in Australia because of the Olympic Games next year.

A recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald said Australia was targeting violent criminal gangs operating immigration rackets out of Bankok, in an attempt to stem the growing numbers of foreigners arriving illegally at Australian airports.

So far, the government has concentrated on the immigrants, now it appears to be going for the syndicate bosses.

At the beginning of June, China announced a new campaign to crack down on snakeheads - gang bosses who specialise in smuggling people out of the country for high fees.

It said they would be given harsh penalties. Border guards were told to make the campaign a priority and efforts are being concentrated in five coastal areas.

Australia and the United States are the most popular destinations for illegal immigrants from China.

A Federal Labour politician in Australia was recently investigated by the National Crime Authority for allegedly receiving thousands of dollars from Chinese wanting to settle in the country.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

07 Jun 99 | Asia-Pacific
Campaign against Chinese people smuggling

06 Jun 99 | Asia-Pacific
Australia acts over illegal immigration

04 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Australia deports Chinese boat people

25 Sep 98 | Australian elections
Pauline Hanson: a force for nationalism





Internet Links


The Australian newspaper online

One Nation


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques