Tag: AFP

International travellers urged to declare excess of $10,000


By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 12 September: International travelers into and out of Australia are being reminded of the need to declare any cash they are carrying in excess of AUD $10,000 or more, to help make travel at airports smoother.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) are continuing to observe international travelers with undeclared currency – particularly at the Sydney International Airport, says an Australian Federal Police (AFP) media release.

Under Australian law travelers can carry an unlimited amount of cash into and out of Australia – however, amounts of $10,000 or more Australian dollars (or foreign currency equivalent) must be declared first by completing an online form.

Travellers can download the Cross-Border Movement – Physical Currency form from AUSTRAC’s website, or get a copy prior to their overseas departure at any international airport or seaport.

Completed forms can then be handed to an ABF officer, located at all international departure points, before leaving the country.

AFP acting Sydney Airport Police Commander Simone O’Mahony said once a form has been completed travelers can carry unlimited amounts of cash.

“These laws exist to stop money laundering by organized crime syndicates, or to prevent the offshore funding of terrorist groups – and we need your help to make these work. All it takes is to fill out the simple form online and you can save yourself and your family stress and a potential fine at the airport,” Detective Acting Superintendent O’Mahony said.

ABF Regional Commander NSW Tim Fitzgerald said undeclared currency can be the result of many factors such as a misunderstanding by travelers or mistrust in financial institutions.

“ABF officers assist travelers at international airports to do the right thing and declare sums over $10,000, however, if the cash is not declared our officers have various means of detecting cash using x-ray, detector dogs, and physical inspections,” Commander Fitzgerald said.

Acting AUSTRAC National Manager Intelligence, Lynne Walker, said declaring currency over the threshold amount is a legal obligation.

“Navigating through an airport can be an overwhelming experience. As part of your travel preparation, remember that if you’re carrying $10,000 or more it needs to be declared. Doing this ahead of time will save you the stress of filling out a form at the airport,” Ms. Walker said.

Further information for travelers can be found on AUSTRAC’s website.

‘Unlawful’ migration agency raided

Search warrants executed at an unlawful migration agency.

By News Desk

Melbourne, 13 December: Investigators today are poring over evidence gathered from a suspected unlawful Melbourne migration agency following a joint Immigration and Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison said recently.

The business is suspected to have been making false promises of permanent residence as well as providing migration assistance while not registered to do so, says a media release.

‘The search warrants that were executed send a strong message to those who seek to defraud migration programs and deceive innocent people,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘My department takes allegations of migration fraud seriously and the department and the courts will act against those who attempt to engage in this behavior.’

Outcomes of visa and migration applications cannot be guaranteed. Migration agents in Australia are required by law to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). It is an offence under the Migration Act for a person who is not a registered agent to provide migration assistance to another person.

‘The department works closely with other government agencies, both federal and state, to assist in the identification and prosecution of these offenders,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘Instances of alleged criminal activity relating to the immigration portfolio can result in criminal and/or administrative penalties, including imprisonment.’

Clients wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can do so by visiting the Office of the MARA’s website.

Australia apologizes to Dr. Haneef over false terror charge and detention in 2007

Dr. Haneef: Vindicated

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 23 December : Australia has made a formal apology to Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef for his wrongful detention in 2007 over failed terrorist attacks at airports in London and Glasgow.
The move follows the payment of undisclosed compensation to Haneef, who was detained and charged with giving support to a terrorist organisation after his mobile phone SIM card was wrongly linked to the attempted car-bombings, reports AFP.

It further says:

“The AFP (Australian Federal Police) acknowledges that it was mistaken and that Dr. Haneef was innocent of the offence of which he was suspected,” said a statement on the attorney-general’s website.
“The (government) apologises and hopes that the compensation to be paid to Dr. Haneef will mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and allow Dr. Haneef to move forward with his life and career.”
Dr. Md. Haneef, who was wrongly charged of terrorism charges by the Liberal Howard government in 2007 after the failed terrorist acts in Glasgow, is to get a substantial compensation for his wrongful arrest by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Dr. Haneef’s lawyer, Rod Hodgson told ABC Breakfast today that the Australian Government will also tender a public apology to Dr. Haneef apart from the compensation.
Dr. Haneef’s lawyer also said that the amount of the compensation ‘is under wraps’ and the doctor was ‘delighted with the outcome’. Estimates are that the compensation is around one million dollars. In 2007 the AFP spent around one and half million dollars in the case which led to the wrongful terrorism charges against Dr. Haneef.
The compensation deal is expected to remove the ‘stain’ on Australia for wrongfully charging and detaining an Indian doctor which was criticized by human rights campaigners and the Indian community in Australia.