Australian High Commission


Border Enforcement Workshops help Combat People smuggling

The Australian Government is working closely with Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by staging a series of workshops in support of regional cooperation aimed at countering maritime people smuggling in South East Asia.

Since July 2011, officers representing the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service have coordinated 14 successful workshops in cooperation with regional counterparts.

Customs and Border Protection Regional Director, Christine Marsden-Smedley, said the workshops have been an opportunity to work with regional officers responsible for combating maritime people smuggling at border crossings across Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

“Maritime people smuggling is a regional issue that requires a regional response. The delivery of these workshops sends a clear message to people smugglers that regional cooperation is targeting organised criminal activity,” Ms Marsden-Smedley said.

“Of the 14 workshops delivered since July 2011, six have been in Thailand at Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok Airport. Six have been in Indonesia at Denpasar, Jakarta, Makassar, Batam and Pontianak and two in Malaysia at Port Klang and Johor Bahru.

“The remaining eight will be delivered between now and the end of November,” Ms Marsden-Smedley said.

The workshops focus on the exchange of skills and information to combat maritime people smuggling and to enhance border management skills among law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Ms Marsden-Smedley added that to date, more than 900 officers representing a range of Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian government agencies have participated in these workshops.

“This week the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, in cooperation with Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs, will deliver a workshop in Kuching, Malaysia, which will focus on targeting people smugglers’ illegal use of land border crossings into Indonesia.

“This workshop will complement other workshops delivered in Malaysia at Port Klang and Johor Bahru earlier this month.

“The Australian Government values highly the efforts of Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian law enforcement and border agencies in combating people smuggling. These workshops are indicative of the unprecedented level of cooperation and commitment that regional law enforcement and regulatory agencies share in combating this problem.

“The Australian Government plans to deliver an additional eight workshops in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in November. This will make it a total of 22 workshops in South East Asia between July and November 2011.

“The indications, so far, are that these maritime people smuggling workshops have been very well received by all attending, and have strengthened the relationship between Australia and its regional partners in countering people smuggling.”


For further media enquiries, please contact Mr Vince Shaw, Counsellor, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Australian High Commission on 03 2146 5737.