MELBOURNE, March 12 (Bernama) — A former asylum seeker from Iran, who helped his family to be smuggled into Australia, has been jailed by the Victorian County Court here on Wednesday.
Lamis Hameed Alli Baighi, 36, was found guilty last month of a people smuggling offence after helping at least five extended family members come to Australia by boat in 2009.
The Australian Associated Press (AAP) said County Court Judge Mark Dean sentenced Alli Baighi to five years in jail with a non-parole period of three years, the mandatory minimum term under the federal legislation.
“I have to impose a sentence more severe than warranted in this case,” the judge said.
He said Alli Baighi, a Kurdish man who fled Iran in 2001, had no criminal record and was unlikely to commit the offence again.
However, Judge Dean acknowledged it was important to deter the practice of people smuggling, which he described as a serious violation of Australia’s national sovereignty.
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