People smuggling crisis: Advice given on duping officials

by on 25 June, 2012

AFGHAN people smugglers are offering money-back guarantees on getting to Australia and providing step-by-step instructions on how to dupe authorities when they get here.

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The smuggling trade has increasingly moved from Pakistan to Afghanistan as smugglers seek to cash in on the huge demand for people wanting to leave the country before the withdrawal of most foreign forces by 2015.

"If someone has the money, then they are leaving, but don't worry, Australia is easy if you follow my advice," a Kabul-based smuggler told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"I have three people going to Australia this week and I guarantee 100 per cent they will make it. You will get your money back if you don't get in."

The smuggler's clients are almost always Hazaras, a tribe that suffered persecution under the Taliban.

They pay up to $14,000 to a money broker in Kabul who holds the money until they reach Australia.

The smuggler's confidence comes from the dozens of other customers to whom he has supplied fake documents and tricks they have learned in refugee processing camps.

For between $300 and $1500, clients can get a made-to-order threat letter purportedly from the Taliban, which carries the insignia of the hardline Islamic movement and threatens violence if they don't leave their village.

The Sunday Herald Sun was able to buy one of the letters from a smuggler who runs his business on the eastern Afghan border with Pakistan, after having requested it be written to maximise the chances of it being accepted.


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