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Monday, December 17, 2012 - 05.46 GMT

Spy operations will help target human smuggling rackets Australian FM


Beefed up spy operations in Sri Lanka and closer maritime ties will help target people smuggling rackets, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said.

Senator Carr is in Colombo for high level talks and has unveiled a four-point plan, AAP reported.

Under the plan Australia will give Sri Lanka extra surveillance and search and rescue equipment.

Australia will also host a joint training program on maritime surveillance for Sri Lankan naval officers.

"There is a message from these talks to people in Sri Lanka - by getting on that boat you risk your life, you'll lose your money and you will be sent back home," Senator Carr said on Monday.

There has been a surge in numbers of Sri Lankan economic migrants undertaking asylum seeker boat journeys to Australia in recent years.

There will also be a $700,000 advertising campaign targeting Sri Lankan towns and villages identified as people smuggling hot spots.

"We're setting a clear agenda for intelligence sharing, naval co-operation and helping rebuild Sri Lanka - all designed to reduce people smuggling," he said.

Since August, 700 Sri Lankans have had their applications for asylum rejected and have been involuntary returned.





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Last modified: December 17, 2012.

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