An Afghani man has appeared in court after being arrested in Australia's biggest-ever crackdown on people smuggling.
Barkat Ali Wahide, 31, spoke in basic English as he appeared in the Perth Magistrate's Court today, saying he would prefer to be returned to immigration detention than in prison custody as the magistrate considered granting him bail.
Mr Wahide, who was not represented by a lawyer, told the court he had been in immigration detention for 17 months.
The court was told he was on two charges of organising or facilitating the bringing in of non-citizens.
Magistrate Barbara Lane initially did not consider bail for the accused man but decided to grant it on the condition that he be returned to immigration detention after the Commonwealth prosecution said it would not oppose it on that basis.
"I am just concerned about him going to Hakea (Prison) - not being able to speak English, his food, his prayers," Ms Lane said.
Mr Wahide is one of three Afghans who, along with one Iranian and one Pakistani, were swooped on by Australian Federal police as part of what has been labelled Australia's biggest-ever people smuggling strike.
The AFP has said that four of the five people - three Afghans, one Iranian and one Pakistani - came to Australia on boats.
They are accused of belonging to a syndicate that was collectively responsible for 132 boats reaching Australia.Mr Wahide was already being held at the Immigration Detention Centre at Perth Airport.
It is understood the man is being interviewed.
He is due to reappear in court on September 26 with an Urdu interpreter.The AFP has said about 20 people smuggling investigations were ongoing.