Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Organiser of asylum seeker boats gaoled

Date of Publication: 
21 May 2015

Iraqi national, 43-year-old Sayed Omeid was sentenced on 20 May 2015 to ten years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of six and a half years for his role as an organiser of two asylum seeker boats carrying a total of 555 passengers from Indonesia to Christmas Island in 2001.

The first vessel, Flinders arrived at Christmas Island, Western Australia on 25 March 2001 with 196 passengers and 2 crew members. The second vessel, Conara arrived on 22 August 2001 with 359 passengers and 5 crew members.

Omeid was arrested in Malaysia in September 2010 and fought extradition to Australia for several years—eventually arriving to face court in Perth in late 2013.

His Honour Judge Herron did not accept Mr Omeid was motivated by humanitarian and altruistic reasons in undertaking the offending. His Honour noted Mr Omeid had little in the way of mitigation and that general deterrence is very important in such cases.

The case presented by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) demonstrated how Omeid had a central and integral role in the people smuggling enterprise.

CDPP Deputy Director, David Adsett said, ‘People smugglers seek only to profit by putting people that are often vulnerable in direct danger. The outcome of this case shows that organisers of people smuggling activities can expect to receive significant sentences of imprisonment when they are caught.’

CDPP Media Contact: communications@cdpp.gov.au or 02 6206 5708

Charges:

Sayed Omeid was convicted and sentenced before his Honour Judge Herron of the District Court of Western Australia on 20 May 2015 to:

  • Two counts of organising the bringing to Australia of a group of five or more people to whom subsection 42(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) applied and did so reckless as to whether the people had, or have, a lawful right to come to Australia, contrary to section 232A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
Sayed Omeid received a total sentence is ten years imprisonment, with a single non-parole period for both offences of six and a half years, commencing 17 September 2010. Omeid will be eligible for release on parole on 17 March 2017.

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