6 years for smug­gling peo­ple to NZ

New Straits Times - - World -

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

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