6 years for smuggling people to NZ
JAKARTA: An Indonesian peoplesmuggling kingpin who organised an illegal migrant boat journey that sparked a diplomatic row with Australia was jailed for six years yesterday.
Abraham Louhenapessy, commonly known as “Captain Bram”, helped find a crew and buy a boat for a voyage intended to take 65 migrants to New Zealand in early 2015.
He has long been a notorious figure in the trade.
He is believed to have organised illegal migrant boat voyages from Indonesia, a staging post on long-established routes, with Canberra saying that he has targeted Australia since 1999.
The voyage for which the 56year-old was convicted yesterday sparked a fierce row between Canberra and Jakarta, due to allegations that Australian officials stopped the boat in their waters and paid its crew US$30,000 (RM133,000) to turn back to Indonesia.
Louhenapessy was ordered to pay a fine of 500 million rupiah (RM164,000) or serve an additional six months. AFP