101 East
The People Smugglers
101 East meets the men who risk the lives of thousands of refugees on the treacherous boat journey to Australia.
Last Modified: 18 May 2012 18:50

Australia wants to stop people smugglers. But who are the men who risk the lives of thousands of refugees on treacherous boat journeys from Indonesia?

Last year, more than 4,500 people arrived in Australia illegally by boat. In the first four months of 2012, another 2,500 arrived.

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Few issues are as contentious in Australia.

Almost universal blame falls on the men who bring the boats - the so-called people smugglers.

More than 200 Indonesians accused of people smuggling are currently behind bars in Australia, and the numbers are growing. The Australian government has recently been forced to review at least 24 cases of juveniles believed to be held in adult prisons.

But are these men the real culprits or are they themselves victims in a much more complex criminal web?

101 East travels to Indonesia to meet the people smugglers and the families they leave behind.

101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

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