9 November 2009
Australia and Sri Lanka strengthen legal cooperation against people smuggling
I welcome today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sri Lanka on legal cooperation against people smuggling.
The MOU was signed by Australia’s Special Representative to Sri Lanka, John McCarthy, and Sri Lanka’s Justice Secretary, Suhada Gamalath.
The MOU is the culmination of close cooperation between officials from Australia and Sri Lanka, under the guidance of the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Minister of Justice and Law Reforms, Mr Milinda Morogoda, whom I met today.
I congratulate both Ministers on the successful outcome of their work.
The MOU will deepen Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka on people smuggling. It will increase opportunities for investigating and prosecuting people smugglers and seizing the proceeds of their criminal activity.
Procedures relating to extradition and mutual legal assistance in people smuggling and related activity will be strengthened.
Both Australia and Sri Lanka will also undertake capacity building measures including specialised training and technical assistance.
Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka is a key element in the Government’s efforts to strengthen regional cooperation against people smuggling, involving source, transit and destination countries.
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