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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Sharks used to deter immigrants
shark, australia
The videos include footage of shark attacks
Australia is pointing to the dangers posed by crocodiles, sharks and snakes in its latest campaign to try to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

The creatures feature in three hard-hitting video tapes intended to show people overseas the risks of paying criminal gangs to take them into Australia.

Immigration Minister Phil Ruddock said the dangers included attacks by sharks and crocodiles which inhabit the remote coastal areas where the smuggling boats land their human cargo.
crocodile
Crocodiles inhabit the remote shores of Australia

''Many people buying their way on to the boats do not realise the dangers,'' he said in an interview on Radio Australia.

''If you come in a boat and land at Cape York and think you're going to land in a place that's hospitable, you may well find you could be taken by a crocodile.''

The videos also include emotional accounts by illegal immigrants recalling other dangers such as being targeted by criminals after becoming stranded in a foreign country.

Human misery

Australia has recently experienced a big increase in the number of illegal immigrants, particularly from Middle Eastern countries.

The videos will be distributed to international networks and media in countries where the immigrants come from and transit through.
boat person
The number of 'boat people' in Australia has been rising sharply

"These are very powerful weapons against a criminal trade in human misery," Mr Ruddock said.

"They are all the more forceful for containing messages from people who actually put themselves in the hands of people smugglers, and who want to warn their families and friends against travelling illegally.

"These are stories of being stranded in foreign countries, dealing with criminals, and indescribable dangers en route," Mr Ruddock added.

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See also:

18 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
Australians seize Iraqi 'illegals'
07 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
Boat people stitch up lips
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