Iraqi held for people smuggling
Iraqi held for people smuggling

An Iraqi man who allegedly organised a people smuggling venture to Australia in 2010 has been extradited to Perth from Germany after the Federal Government issued an Interpol "red notice" for his arrest.

The extradition came as the Abbott Government said it had been six months since the last successful people smuggling operation to Australia.

German police took the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, into custody at a railway station in Stuttgart this year after Australia posted a worldwide alert, saying he was wanted for people smuggling offences.

The 42-year-old arrived under guard at Perth Airport last night.

Australian Federal Police are expected to charge him with migration offences.

People smuggling carries a maximum 20 years jail.

The man is alleged to have helped organise an asylum seeker boat carrying 56 passengers that arrived in Australia in September 2010. He had previously been living in Australia but left Perth for Malaysia in early 2010 and had not been seen since.

The AFP issued the red notice alert for him last year, believing he may have been in Indonesia.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said it was the first extradition from Germany that Australia had pursued for people smuggling. "The message to those who are suspected of participating in this evil crime is clear - Australian law enforcement will ensure they are tracked down to face the full force of our laws," he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday though it was too early for the Government to declare mission accomplished in its efforts to stop people smugglers, it was clear the coalition's policies were proving a success.

But he refused to say how many asylum vessels had been turned back to Indonesia over the past six months.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said during the same time last year almost 200 boats carrying 13,000 people had arrived.

The West Australian

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