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Australia Complicit?
Pamela Curr
18 December 2002

If the Australian government let Abu Quassey walk away without seeking his extradition, it will be the second time that they have turned a blind eye to this the self-confessed organiser of the SIEV-X voyage that on 19 October 2001 sank, drowning 353 mostly Iraqi and Afghan asylum-seekers on route from Indonesia to Australia. The Australian Government will have deliberately allowed this Murderer /Smuggler to walk free on 1 January 2003, at the end of a short Indonesian jail term for minor passport offences. So much for tough talk.

In late December 2000 I was approached by some people and asked to assist in a serious matter. They explained to me that they had discussed this matter with each other and decided that they must take action because there was 'a very bad man who will cause many, many people to die and he does not care.' They gave me this information which I wrote down and asked me to tell the Australian government about this person, to stop him putting peoples lives at risk.

In January 2001, I rang the Compliance section of DIMIA at their request. I gave them the names that Abu Quassy uses, mobile phone numbers, names of his accomplices, names of the Indonesian officers who take bribes and participate, names of the hotels used as meeting places and where refugees are placed, names of the beach places from which the boats embark and details of how the voyages are organised. I was advised to tell Australian officers not to ring the mobile phone no's using Australian voices but to get Arabic speaking people to ring because otherwise the phones will be ditched. They wanted this information given so that Abu Quassy would be stopped as they believed that it was only a matter of time before one of his boats sank.

This was the first time that the Australian Government could have taken action-a full nine months before the terrible fears of the informers were realised.

Why didn't the Australian Federal Police stop the Quassy smuggling operations then? They had enough Information to take to the Indonesian police to seek their support. Were Australian officers more interested in instigating disruption activities than in bringing to a halt, smuggling operations that risked peoples lives? Why?

There are so many questions to answer. Could it be that the Australian Government does not want to hear Quassy testify in Court or even worse be questioned in Court? Why is the prospect of this evidence so disturbing?

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