An Iranian people smuggler, who convinced dozens of vulnerable people to risk their lives at sea, has been jailed for eight years in the District Court of New South Wales.
Mohammad Fayazi arrived illegally by boat, along with 39 others, in December 2013 and was arrested and charged by the Australian Federal Police on 20 February 2014 with numerous counts of Aggravated People Smuggling offences.
On 13 April 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of People Smuggling and one count of Aggravated People Smuggling, relating to two vessels that arrived in Australia in 2012 and 2013 with a total of 145 people on board.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said today's result should send yet another strong message that Australia will not tolerate criminals who use false promises of settlement to persuade people to get on unsafe boats.
"Our position remains unchanged - any attempt to reach Australia illegally by boat will fail and anyone attempting to facilitate these ventures should expect to face the full force of the law," Mr Dutton said.
"We've stopped the flow of people smuggling boats to Australia and saved countless lives, but the criminals are still out there trying to exploit vulnerable people. They're looking for any sign of weakness – they won't find it from us."
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan praised the work of investigators in bringing criminals like Fayazi to justice.
"This prosecution represents the success of the joint-agency approach we've taken to stopping the boats and to disrupting and dismantling criminal people smuggling networks," Mr Keenan said.
"Our work includes close cooperation and information sharing with our international counterparts, including Indonesia, who share our resolve to stamping out this evil trade."
Fayazi's co-accused, Mohammad Naghi Karimi Azar was extradited from Indonesia in October 2016. He remains in custody and is due to face trial in 2018.