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Charges laid under Commonwealth legislation relating to sexual servitude.



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JOINT STATEMENT

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CUSTOMS, SENATOR CHRIS ELLISON THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION, MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS, PHILIP RUDDOCK E68/03 18 June 2003

Charges laid under Commonwealth legislation relating to sexual servitude

The Australian Federal Police has charged two people with sexual servitude and deceptive recruiting offences.

These arrests send a signal to people traffickers, especially those involved in trafficking in women, that this Government is determined to put them out of business.

It is also an excellent example of the close co-operation between the Australian Federal Police, Immigration officers and the New South Wales Police.

The Commonwealth Government is committed to tackling the crime of trafficking in persons with a whole-of-Government approach.

Immigration officers work hand in hand with law enforcement officers to ensure that cases of suspected trafficking are promptly and thoroughly investigated.

These arrests make clear the Government’s commitment to prosecuting trafficking offences where-ever the evidence supports it.

Both Ministers thanked all the personnel involved, including NSW Police, for their careful and professional efforts in combating these crimes. The AFP investigation stemmed from a referral by NSW Police.

A 47-year-old woman and 29-year-old man, both from the Sydney suburb of Auburn, were arrested late yesterday after police executed a search warrant on flat in Auburn.

They were charged with one count of aid and abet sexual servitude and three counts of aid and abet deceptive recruiting for sexual services under the Criminal Code Act 1995.

During a court appearance in Central Local Court today the two accused were granted bail and the matter was adjourned until 9 July 2003.

The charges relate to three Indonesian women who were allegedly recruited to Australia and provided false documents to assist with their entry.

It is alleged that the women were lured to Australia with the promise of jobs in the hospitality industry but were told when they arrived in Sydney they would be required to work in the sex industry.

All relevant Government agencies continue to work closely together in the fight against trafficking.

Contacts: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715 (Mr Ruddock) Mairi Barton 02/6277 7260 or 0439 300 335 (Senator Ellison)