Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Said Mir BAHRAMI

Year: 
2014-2015
Category: 
People Smuggling
Location: 
New South Wales

Afghani national, 43 year-old man, Said Mir Bahrami was sentenced to eleven years and three months gaol with a single non-parole period of seven years and three months for facilitating the smuggling of non-citizens to Australia who had no legal right to enter the country.

Bahrami was involved in facilitating the bringing to Australia of non-citizens who had no legal right of entry into Australia. The non-citizens were brought by three separate boats from Indonesia which had arrived in the Australian territory on 9 December 2010, 8 January 2011 and 6 February 2011. The non-citizens travelled from their country of origin to Indonesia, where they remained for varying periods while arrangements were made by Bahrami for their onward travel by boat to Australia.

Bahrami operated in Indonesia, where he and his family were based, and was supported by associates operating in Iran and Indonesia. He made arrangements and organised for the non-citizens to be taken to Australia on board Indonesian fishing vessels. Bahrami in facilitating the entry into Australia had a clear plan of arrangements.

 

  • Received money from passengers for organising their travel to Australia.
  • Arranged passengers to travel at night or otherwise in an undercover manner.
  • Advised the passengers that their activities must be secret as they may be arrested by the authorities.
  • Arranged, either personally or through persons working for him, to facilitate and pay for the domestic travel and accommodation of the passengers within Indonesia.
  • Arranged the travel of passengers from their places of accommodation in Indonesia to an eventual departure point of the vessel which departed for Australia.
  • Advised the passengers to destroy their passports/identification documents.

He was arrested in Malaysia, where he fought extradition, and brought to Australia by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). He pleaded not guilty, and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions ran a 39-day trial in the Sydney District Court with a total of 27 Crown witnesses giving evidence, including three witnesses from the Royal Australian Navy, two witnesses from the AFP and 22 passengers witnesses on board the three vessel’s that Bahrami had facilitated.

 

 

On 19 March 2014, the jury delivered guilty verdict with respect to two counts of the aggravated offence of people smuggling, contrary to s233C of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth); a guilty verdict with respect to three of the four counts of the offence of people smuggling, contrary to s233A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), and a not guilty verdict with respect to the fourth count of the people smuggling offence, contrary to s 233A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

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The first vessel, SIEV 218, was intercepted on 9 December 2010 in the Australian Contiguous Zone approximately 39 nautical miles south west of Ashmore Island. There were 40 passengers and four Indonesian crew on board the vessel. BAHRAMI facilitated the bringing to Australia of three of the passengers on SIEV 218.

The second vessel, SIEV 227, was boarded by Royal Australian Navy personnel, with the agreement of the vessel’s master on 7 January 2011 outside the Australian Contiguous Zone, approximately 58 nautical miles north east of the Cartier Islands. There were 76 passengers and four Indonesian crew on board the vessel. The Royal Australian Navy personnel remained on board SIEV 227 and, on 8 January 2011, the vessel entered the Australian Contiguous Zone. The passengers and crew were subsequently deemed unlawful non-citizens under the Migration Act. BAHRAMI facilitated the bringing to Australia of six of the passengers on SIEV 227.

The third vessel, SIEV 228, was intercepted on 6 February 2011 in the Australian Contiguous Zone approximately 25 nautical miles north west of Ashmore Island. There were 52 passengers and four Indonesian crew on board the vessel. Bahrami facilitated the bringing to Australia of at least 12 of the passengers on SIEV 228.

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Charges

Said Mir Bahrami was convicted and sentenced on 12 March 2015 in relation to:

 

  • Two counts of aggravated offence of people smuggling (at least 5 people), contrary to section 233C of the Migration Act 1995 (Cth)

Penalty: 20 years imprisonment or 2,000 penalty units, or both

 

 

  • Three counts of offence of people smuggling, contrary to section 233A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or 1,000 penalty units, or both

 

 

Sentence

Said Mir Bahrami received a head sentence of eleven years and three months to commence on 5 August 2011 and to expire on 4 November 2022, with a single non-parole period of seven years and three months to date from 5 August 2011.

Bahrami will be eligible for parole on 4 November 2018.

 

  • Counts 2, 3 & 4 (s233A): convicted and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment to commence on 5 August 2011 and expire on 4 August 2013.
  • Count 5 (s233C): convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment to commence on 5 May 2012 and to expire on 4 May 2017.
  • Count 6 (233C): convicted and sentenced to 8 years and 6 months imprisonment to commence on 5 May 2014 and to expire on 4 November 2022.