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Asylum seekers being offered passports and Australian visas by people smugglers to enter Australia by flight

November 2013, 22
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ABC's Four Corners program conducted an investigation which shows evidence on how people smugglers are selling travel documents for up to $ 16,000 to asylum seekers wanting to come to Australia. Asylum seekers could make use of this passports and visas to enter Australia by flight rather than the old method of fishing boats. A series of meetings were held in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur last week, and it was secretly filmed that an Iraqi national Abu Tarek was handing over fake travel documents to his clients. 

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Mr Tarek was telling them Its a proper Australian visa, its a genuine passport and genuine visa. Its come straight from the embassy and you can fly using your name. He also claimed that one of his clients had entered Australia using a visa and passport which was issues by the Gulf state of Bahrain, and than he had applied for asylum at the Australian airport. When he was asked if any other people had used this black market fraudulent documents, the 36 yr old Iraqi national whose real name is Hakim Salga said that Yes, many people had been to Australia and New Zealand using these services and have arrayed to Australia and New Zealand using passports issues by Bahrain and Oman.

The people smuggler use to ask his clients to only use the passport and visa to board the flight and than tear the documents mid-way before reaching Australia. Two types of Australian visas were sold by Mr. Tarek, holiday visas and transit visas for flights to New Zealand. This syndicate of smugglers had targeted Lebanese asylum seekers came from the troubled north of the country, the area which borders Syria, was revealed furthered in the investigation. The Department of Immigration figures show that, the amount of Lebansese people who applied for asylum at Australian airports had increased from 182 to 327 in the last year.

Many local people confirmed that more than 200 people from their village had paid people smugglers huge amounts of money to get them to Australia by boat or plane. Foreign Minster, Julie Bishop in response to the Four Corners report said that if so many allegations are being made, they will be looked into and I have full confidence in the integrity of the passport system in Australia. Iraqi man Abu Saleh, who was jailed for murdering a man in a Jakarta nightclub, was also the part of the same syndicate group, said the Four Corners investigation report.

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