Record number of criminals stopped from flying to Australia
THE number of criminals, illegal immigrants and suspected terrorists kicked off flights bound for Australia has skyrocketed by 300 per cent.
A whopping 555 individuals were booted off flights in 2017-18, up from the 136 people “offloaded” from planes to Australia the year before.
Some of the passengers taken off flights because they posed a “risk to the border” included individuals trying to enter the country illegally to work or live, as well as suspected criminals and others who were a national security concern, The Sunday Telegraph understands.
In most cases, Australian Border Force officials have worked with air- lines such as Qantas and Emirates to keep these undesirables out.
Hundreds of other passengers with fraudulent documents have also been stopped before they could board flights. It’s estimated taxpayers would have been forced to fork out $15 million for authorities to detain and eventually deport the 205 people with fraudulent documents if they hadn’t been stopped from entering Australia.
Another 4584 travellers were stopped at airports and refused entry when they reached Australia in 2017-18.
The ABF attributes the massive increase in the number of passengers booted off flights to Airline Liaison Officers working more closely with airlines, resulting in more awareness among airline staff of potential threats. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said ALOs were “crucial” to protecting Australia’s borders.
ABF Strategic Border Command Assistant Commissioner Erin Dale agreed ALOs played a critical role in keeping “unscrupulous individuals” out of Australia.
ALOs are stationed in 19 airports.