An Indian journalist is facing up to 20 years behind bars after he was allegedly caught trying to smuggle a group of his countrymen into Australia for the Commonwealth Games using fake media credentials.
Australian Border Force officers swooped on the nine Indians at Brisbane International Airport on Wednesday.
Rakesh Kumar Sharma was arrested and briefly faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with people smuggling and falsifying documents.
It's alleged the 46-year-old held valid media credentials but helped falsify the credentials of the rest of the group, who have been taken into immigration detention.
Court documents allege Sharma arranged for the eight people, aged between 19 and 37, to come to Australia.
He is also accused of lodging a form he knew was forged or false, which would enable the group to get a visa that would allow them to stay in Australia.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie said the incident showed the system worked and there was no threat to security.
The Games start next Wednesday, while Sharma was remanded in custody ahead of an expected bail application on April 6.
The maximum penalty for the offences is 20 years' jail.