Monday, December 26, 2011

People Smugglers Stood To Earn $1M From Tragic Voyage in Australia

The people smuggling syndicate that organized the vessel which sank off the coast of East Java could have made as much as $1 million from the venture. About 250 people were on the boat that capsized and, according to testimony from survivors, the Iranians that made up most of the human cargo paid $7000 each while the Afghans paid about $4500. Assuming the average amount paid was $5000, the venture would have grossed about $1.25 million and, Senior Commissioner Budi Santoso, the head of Indonesia's people smuggling taskforce, said the overheads for the syndicate would have been surprisingly low.… Commissioner Budi said that, from his experience, the crew would be paid about 20 million rupiah each [$2,200]. That's the equivalent of almost a year's salary for a poor Indonesian fisherman, and significantly more than they used to receive. There were six crew on the boat, including the captain, who would have made at least double the amount the underlings earned. Even so, it's unlikely the total bill for the syndicate would have exceeded $100,000.

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