Since the closure of the international border in March 2020 and the significantly reduced capacity of commercial flights, the Australian Border Force (ABF) has removed 711 unlawful non-citizens to countries across the world.
In the most recent removal of foreigners considered not to be of suitable character to remain in Australia, 31 individuals were removed on two charter flights after completing their prison sentences, the ABF announced yesterday (Tuesday).
The group comprised adults who had been detained in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. They were returned to Auckland in New Zealand on 16 and 17 February.
One person had murdered his girlfriend’s parents
Those removed on the 16 February charter included a convicted murder who was jailed for the murder of his girlfriend’s parents in Melbourne.
Two detainees also returned on 16 February had their visas cancelled by the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton. One individual was linked to an outlaw motorcycle gang and had convictions primarily relating to drugs and weapons. Another individual was convicted of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and possessing child exploitation material.
Those removed on the 17 February charter included a convicted murderer and an individual who was convicted in Sydney of using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 and possessing child abuse material on a computer hard drive.
Both charter and commercial flights being used
Other convictions of those removed related to manslaughter, burglary, drug possession, police officer assault, threats to kill, firearm possession and breaches of domestic violence orders.
“Since the closure of the international border, the ABF has continued to remove people from Australia using both charters and commercial flights. A large number of countries have been represented – including the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, France, Malta and New Zealand,” ABF Assistant Commissioner Tim Fitzgerald said.
“The majority of those removed on these recent charters had their visas cancelled under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. Some individuals had clearly been convicted of appalling acts and, as non-citizens who did not satisfy the character test, they had no lawful basis to remain in Australia,” he stated.