Australian Institute of Criminology

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Organised crime and migrant smuggling : Australia and the Asia-Pacific

Research and public policy series no. 44

Andreas Schloenhardt
ISBN 0 642 24281 X ISSN 1326-6004
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2002

Abstract

Over the past two decades, smuggling in migrants has become a significant source of income for criminal organisations. Every year, thousands of migrants are being smuggled to Australia, throughout the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, by increasingly sophisticated criminal enterprises that earn billions of dollars by exploiting those fleeing poverty and persecution. The aim of this study is to explain the organised crime aspect of migrant smuggling in the Asia-Pacific region. In order to develop appropriate and effective countermeasures, the study seeks to identify and investigate the structural patterns of migrant smuggling. The report includes a brief discussion of what organised crime is, what it is not, and how it can best be approached. It examines why, when and where organised crime and migrant smuggling emerge. This provides the theoretical background for a detailed analysis of the organisational and operational aspects of migrant smuggling in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.