Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
[date stamped 8 June 2004]
Ms Marg Hutton
Dear Ms Hutton
Thank your for letter of 29 April 2004 to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone about an alleged association of Abu Quassey with the vessel Gelantipy. The Minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.
You suggest the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) should be aware of all information known to the joint DIMIA-Australian Federal Police (AFP) People Smuggling Strike Team (PSST). This is not necessarily the case. The activities of the PSST focus upon the identification and prosecution of people smugglers in Australian courts. The Team's inquiries and the information they hold are therefore sensitive and specific measures have been established to protect them.
I am unable to comment further upon the arrangements that exist between DIMIA and AFP in regard to the activities of the PSST.
The AFP was consulted in the preparation of this response.
Thank you for drawing this matter to the Minister's attention.