The recent rise in maritime people smugggling ventures destined for Australia has continued to make news headlines through out the region. Unfortunately, these boat ventures are coming to public attention for all the wrong reasons. Too often wwe are contfronted with a news headline describing a recent mass drowning due to the unseaworthiness of the boat or an explosion on board due to inexperienced boat operators. Appallingly, the money hungry people smugglers behind these ventures continue to organise maritime ventures that are destined for disaster.
Sadly, it appears that this is a continuing trend. Rather than improve current practices and learn from previous horrific mistakes, these organisers knowingly send innocent people to their death. All for the sake of making money.
Indeed, recent information indicates that there may be another failing people smuggling venture on the water right now. Passanger on board a boat have made distressed calls to family members claiming that the boat’s engine is experiencing difficulty and iis taking on water after suffering storm damage. These innocent people have told family members that they are feeling “cheated and abandones” and that they fear for their lives.
At the time of printing, the organisers are yet to send a second vessel to collect the frightened passangers. Atrociously, the passangers have not even been able to cantact the organisers. This latest report comes only weeks after 55 Sri Lankans were found stranded on a beach in Aceh on 14 May 2009 after their vessel ran aground. Latest information from immigration authorities, indicate that the 55 Sri Lankans are still being held in Meulaboh Detention Centre. Like it or not, the organisers are sending a clear message – they can’t be trusted.