Iraqi charged in Australia over deadly trafficking ring

Part of the SIEV X Memorial. (Wikipedia)
Updated 20 October 2019

Iraqi charged in Australia over deadly trafficking ring

  • Police claim he was part of a syndicate that charged 421 mostly Iraqi and Afghan refugees for a place aboard an Indonesian fishing boat known by Australian authorities as SIEV-X in 2001

SYDNEY: An Iraqi man has been charged in Australia with people trafficking in connection with the drowning deaths of more than 350 asylum seekers in 2001, police said Saturday.
Maythem Radhi, 43, was arrested at Brisbane airport late Friday after being extradited from New Zealand and has been charged with "organising groups of non-citizens into Australia".
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Police claim he was part of a syndicate that charged 421 mostly Iraqi and Afghan refugees for a place aboard an Indonesian fishing boat known by Australian authorities as SIEV-X in 2001.
The vessel sunk in the Indian Ocean while en route to Australia's Christmas Island, leaving 353 people dead, 146 of them children.
"Police will allege in court that the man, then aged 24, took payments from the passengers," the Australian Federal Police said in a statement on Saturday -- exactly 18 years after the disaster.
"It will also be alleged that he helped facilitate the transportation and accommodation of people in Indonesia in preparation for their journey to Australia," they added.
Radhi is the third person to face court for their role in the disaster.
Iraqi people smuggler Khaleed Shnayf Daoed was extradited from Sweden to Australia in 2003 and received a nine-year sentence two years later, with prosecutors portraying the then 36-year-old as a key organiser for Egyptian people smuggler Abu Quassey.
Quassey was convicted in Egypt in December 2003 of causing death through negligence and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Radhi is expected to appear in court later this month.


France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

  • Fresh protests were held across France to mark the birth last year for the movement
  • Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris

PARIS: Yellow vest activists are staging fresh protests across France to mark the birth last year of their movement for economic justice, a day after scuffles between Paris police and activists marred the anniversary.
Interior minister Christophe Castaner deplored Saturday’s violence on CNews television. He said Paris police had detained 173 people.
Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris. Yellow vest activists said there were 44,000.
On Sunday, dozens of protesters briefly gathered under the dome of Paris’ Galeries Lafayette store to denounce consumer culture.
On Nov. 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people blocked traffic around the country to protest a fuel tax hike. The sometimes-violent protests have increasingly vented anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s policies, who is seen as favoring the rich.