Australia – Four Indonesian fishermen who smuggled asylum seekers to Australia on rickety fishing boats were jailed on Friday for five years.
Ferry Irawan, 29, Sali, 45, Joko Sampurno, 23, and Anton Tambunan, 29, transported 74 Afghan, Kurdish and Iranian men, women and children from Indonesia to Australia, the Supreme Court in Brisbane heard.
They each pleaded guilty to bringing non-citizens into the country in January last year.
The court was told that Tambunan, who earned just $20 a week in his home country, was paid only $300 to make the perilous journey, Australian Associated Press reported.
The asylum seekers paid people smugglers in Indonesia and Afghanistan between $5,000 and $15,000 for their place on a boat.
More than 6,500 refugees – mostly from Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – arrived in Australia last year on boats from Indonesia.
Last week, Indonesia’s parliament passed a long-awaited law criminalising people-smuggling which aims to stem the flow of asylum seekers moving through the country to Australia.