Sat, Jun 24, 2017 | updated 09:22 PM IST

Indian authorities assure cooperation to Australian team on prevention of human trafficking, narcotics smuggling

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 18:13 IST      
Indian authorities assure cooperation to Australian team on prevention of human trafficking, narcotics smuggling

By Ashok Dixit

New Delhi [India], Nov.21 (ANI): A two-member delegation from Australia has been assured by their Indian counterparts here of full cooperation with regard to monitoring and sharing intelligence and other information on suspect incidents of people smuggling (human trafficking), drugs and narcotics.

Speaking to ANI here, Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg and Major General Andrew Bottrell, Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB), said that they had a fruitful and satisfactory three-day visit to India during which they had mutually discussed and reinforced understandings on all key aspects of existing bilateral arrangements with regard to any form of trafficking or smuggling with their Indian counterparts in the Central Board of Excise (CBE), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Commissioner Quaedvlieg further informed that this Australian team has been on a fortnight-long tour to four out of five South East Asian and South Asian countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and India so far, and will end its tour with Sri Lanka before returning home.

He said that during his visit to India, the discussions also focused on future areas of cooperation with key stakeholders, including on issues such as maritime and or air surveillance.

Both Commissioner Quaedvlieg and Major General Bottrell used their visit to New Delhi to place significant emphasis on the fact that the current Australian government is very keen to indicate its firm resolve to maintain its "one-off arrangement" with the United States with regard to refugee resettlement from regional processing centers located in Nauru, a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia and Manus Island, the fifth-largest island in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.

Both said resettlement in Australia is available to only the most vulnerable, namely women, children and families who already have already been granted refugee status in the above three regional resettlement centers.

They said that any further agreement is with the United States only and will not under any circumstance be available to any future illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) to Australia, and added that authorities in the United States will conduct their own assessment of refugees and decide which people are to be resettled in America.

They said refugees would need to satisfy standard requirements for admission into the United States, including passing health and security checks, and added that this process will take time and will be gradual.

It was stated that this arrangement is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"We will continue to support the Governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea to return people determined not to be owed protection. These people should return to their country of origin," they said, adding that this one-off arrangement with the United States must not be seen as a "softening of Australia's immigration policies".

They warned and cautioned that the Australian government has taken suitable steps over the last three years to put in place both maritime and aerial assets to intercept and or return potential illegal asylum seekers back to their points of original embarkation.

As regards their India visit, they said they had come away from their meetings fully satisfied and confident that authorities in New Delhi will maintain the ongoing bilateral engagements and understandings on people smuggling (human trafficking), drugs and narcotics.

Both informed that relevant institutions in Australia are talking to Diaspora community and briefing them about the one-off agreement with the United States, and added that the Indian side has recognized this challenge before Australia, and are ready to offer cooperation to the fullest.

They made a specific mention of Tamil nationality asylum seekers based in well organized refugee/resettlement camps in Tamil Nadu.

The ABF chief confirmed that currently his force's jurisdiction covered 200 nautical miles and that the ABF and the OSB are working jointly with the Australian Navy in managing existing assets to prevent illegal entries.

The Australian government has said settlement in Australia will never be an option for those found to be refugees in regional processing centers nor for anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat in the future.

Australia's border protection policy remains consistent and firm. Operation Sovereign Borders will continue to turn back people smuggling ventures where it is safe to do so and any illegal maritime arrivals to Australia will be sent to regional processing centers.

Under the present coalition government, Australia's borders are now stronger than ever, the two officials said. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday assured that the Indian government will do everything possible for the safety and well-being of Indians stranded in Qatar, who are facing a major blockade from the surrounding Arab countries.

Full Story >>

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 24 (ANI): Following the terror attack earlier in the day in which a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost his life, Additional Director General of Police (ADG) of CRPF S.N. Srivastava said that such a 'cowardly act' does not affect the moral of security forces.

Full Story >>

BJP leader allegedly attacked in Bardhaman

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 18:57 IST     

Bardhaman (West Bengal) [India], June 24 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament George Baker was allegedly thrashed and his car vandalized in West Bengal's Bardhaman's Kalna area on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], June 24 (ANI): Two security personnel were killed and three injured in an exchange of fire with Naxals in Sukma on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 24 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday issued notice to Tripura's Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Bijita Nath and asked her to be present at her Agartala residence on June 29 for interrogation.

Full Story >>

J-K: Terrorist strike kills CRPF SI, injures two jawans

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 18:54 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 24 (ANI): One Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Sub-Inspector lost his life and two jawans got injured after terrorists attacked their vehicle near Srinagar.

Full Story >>

APCC demands revival of APCMUHIS

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 18:48 IST      By: Pradeep Kumar

Itanagar [Arunachal Pradesh], June 24 (ANI): Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) took a dig at the ruling Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) state government for its contradictory policy and demanded the immediate reintroduction of the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister's Universal Health Insurance Scheme (APCMUHIS).

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 24 (ANI): The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Saturday arrested a person and recovered five kilograms of gold and 1.5 kilograms of dark metallic powder, worth Rs.1.7 crores, from the air cargo complex here.

Full Story >>

Security review meeting held for upcoming Amarnath Yatra

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:51 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 24 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir Core Group Security (CGS) held a meeting at Nagrota on Saturday to coordinate arrangements and security for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

Full Story >>

Ballabhgarh murder accused sent on three-day police remand

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:47 IST     

Palwal (Haryana) [India], June 24 (ANI): The accused arrested in connection with Ballabhgarh murder case was sent to three-day police remand on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Seven Naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh`s Dantewada

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:47 IST     

Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) [India], June 24 (ANI): Seven Naxals of Jan Militia were arrested in a joint operation of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Police in Dantewada's Kuakonda on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 24 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced that the state government has decided to waive off Rs. 34,000 crores in loans and added all ministers and MLAs will give a month's salary to support the loan waiver.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): Defence expert Praful Bakshi on Saturday said the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump would be of great significance.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): The Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded identification of the political connections of the criminals and appropriate action in a case where a youth was murdered after a scuffle broke out in a train over a seat in Haryana's Palwal.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): In wake of the ongoing political conflict between Bihar Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav over the upcoming presidential polls, Member of Parliament (MP) Shatrugan Sinha urged both leaders to resolve their conflict for the benefit of Bihar.

Full Story >>

Rhino horn, Tokay Gecko worth over Rs two crore seized in WB

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:07 IST     

Alipurduar (West Bengal) [India], June 24 (ANI): The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and forest department in a joint operation arrested a person with a Rhino horn and Tokay Gecko worth over Rs two crore.

Full Story >>

Pak violates ceasefire in Poonch sector

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:06 IST     

Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 24 (ANI): Pakistan on Saturday violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector.

Full Story >>

Film actors joining politics ruined Tamil Nadu: Swamy

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 16:50 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday took a jibe at Rajinikanth, who recently expressed his intentions to join politics, saying Tamil Nadu has been ruined because of film actors joining politics.

Full Story >>

2 people die in Kashmere Gate car accident

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 16:42 IST     

New Delhi [India] June 24, (ANI) : Two people died and two have been injured after a car ran over the pavement at Kashmere Gate in Delhi on Saturday.

Full Story >>

24/7 helpline '181' for launched for women in Manipur

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 16:31 IST     

Imphal (Manipur) [India], June 24 (ANI): In a bid to address problems faced by women in Manipur, the Biren Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government has launched a toll free 24/7 helpline number 181 for women in the state.

Full Story >>