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How to get to Australia by boat: a smuggler's guide

See that boat
“See that boat over there running guns, drugs & terros to Australia? Neither can I.”


TUMBY BAY - The Turnbull government won't accept New Zealand's generous offer to resettle 150 refugees each year.

Why? Because it fears that will make it easy to them to transit on to Australia.

And yet it is happy for them to resettle in Papua New Guinea, where transiting to Australia is so much easier.

Just a few kina and a fast boat across Torres Strait.

The gun-runners, drug dealers and the odd terrorist have already worn a useful route for refugees to use.

Here’s the plan.

First you see the OIC Police in Kikori. Hand over the necessary. A quick boat ride to Daru. And then a skiff run to any number of isolated settlements in North Queensland.



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Daniel Kumbon

‘Unreported World, Rambao Nation’ a documentary video by Sam Kiley shows how easy it is to smuggle marijuana all the way from Enga province to Australia along oil and gas pipeline routes to Daru where it is loaded on small craft and easily sold to Australia.

The drugs are exchanged for hard cash or high powered guns like AK47s to use in the tribal wars. A smuggler involved in the illicit trade since he was small said it was so easy to operate from the PNG side of the border because the system was very weak.

The video shows how easy it is to use local islanders on both sides to operate undetected. They have been trading for as long as they've lived there anyway.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Funny how we know about these things Pat but neither governments do.

Must be a reason for that.

'Big Pat' Levo

Covering the 2000 national elections in Daru, I met a few wantoks from Kei Town. One is half Kei and half Kiwai.

He had a boat and regaled me with tales of dangerous crossings, mostly drugs for guns, assisted by locals on both sides of the border and corrupt border and immigration officials in the islands.

Nicoll Beattie

Worrying, but I question the trip from Weipa to Merauke.
Did he bring a boat with him; buy one there? How much fuel required; bought locally or brought with him? Then not return - local authorities not notice? Small town, local people not notice?
500km minimum in small boat - not for me.
Indonesian authorities?

Hard to accept criticism of this sort in such a concerning area. facts would help my belief.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The Torres Strait is like a great funnel, pointing both north and south, that our dumb pollies ignore.

I don't think Mutton Dutton has ever been there.

Chips Mackellar

It works in the other direction also, Phil. Remember the abduction of the Gillespie children in 1992? With their passports cancelled, and alerts at all Australian airports, how could they be taken out of Australia?

Very simple. Their father took them by road to Weipa, thence by small boat across the Torres Strait to Merauke which is just across the border from PNG, thence by plane to Malaysia.

Peter Kranz

I had a friend who used to work for the Australian Federal Police. His job was to track the drug routes from PNG through the Torres Strait.

He gave up, resigned and got a job as a teacher saying, "It's so massive it's impossible to stop. We were useless. And the smugglers had high-level contacts both sides of the border."

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