JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Indonesian court sentenced an Afghan man to six years in prison Wednesday for smuggling asylum seekers to Australia.
The East Jakarta District Court found Dawood Amiri guilty of violating Indonesia's immigration law and conspiring with an international syndicate that smuggled asylum seekers from Indonesia to Australia.
The court found he was involved in organizing the voyage of rickety boat of asylum seekers that sank on its way to Christmas Island last year, killing about 90 people. Another 110 people on the boat were rescued.
Prosecutors, who demanded a seven-year jail term, claimed that the defendant acknowledged that the boat was overloaded but did nothing to stop it from sailing to Australia.
In its verdict, the three-member panel led also ordered the 20-year-old to pay $79,000.
Amiri, who came to Indonesia about three years ago, was arrested in Jakarta days after the deadly voyage. He told police he was assisted by a Pakistani man who was among the survivors. He had earlier organized three other trips to Australia.
Indonesia has long been a transit point for people fleeing war-ravaged countries on their way to Australia.