Australia Puts Bounty on People-Smugglers

July 21, 2013

Australian PM Kevin Rudd.
Australian PM Kevin Rudd.

Australia said on Sunday it would pay rewards of up to Aus$200,000 (US$180,000) for information leading to the conviction of people-smugglers, as it defended its tougher approach on asylum-seekers.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Friday announced that refugees arriving on unauthorised boats would have no chance of being resettled in Australia in a bid to stop the rush of asylum-seekers arriving by sea. Instead they will be sent to poverty-stricken Papua New Guinea for processing.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said Sunday that Australian Federal Police would also pay rewards for the capture of the people-smugglers behind the boats and their associates.

“These people are peddling in misery and death. We need to shut this market down. That’s why we are putting a bounty on their heads,” Clare said.

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