Australia jails 3 after deadly refugee boat crash

AP News
Posted: Sep 26, 2012 2:56 AM
Australia jails 3 after deadly refugee boat crash

PERTH, Australia (AP) — An Australian judge has sentenced three Indonesian men to more than five years in prison for people smuggling. The boat they used to smuggle asylum seekers to Australia was involved in an accident that killed dozens.

Abdul Rasjid, Supriyadi and Hardi Hans were found guilty last month. Western Australia District Court Judge Stephen Scott on Wednesday sentenced Rasjid to five years and nine months in prison, and the others to five years and six months.

Their boat that smashed into cliffs along Christmas Island in 2010. An estimated 48 passengers were killed.

Australian officials are struggling to stop a surge of would-be refugees from countries including Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. Hundreds have died while attempting the dangerous sea voyage from Indonesia to Australia over the past year.