People Smuggling: 'Titanic' Promise
A court's heard people smugglers promised an Iraqi family they'd sail on a ship like The Titanic to Australia ... where refugees are welcomed.
Mildura man Abbas Allami's pleaded not guilty to aggravated people smuggling ... accused of working for an international syndicate.
Iraqi refugee Kadhim Al Shareeda says the smuggling group offered to take his family of six, including four young daughters, from Indonesia to Australia on a ship for $US15,000.
"They portrayed it like the Titanic," he told the Victorian County Court on Thursday.
"A touristic ship equipped with a GPS, satellite, everything."
The family, seeking to escape dangers in Iraq, first travelled to Turkey by bus.
From there they made contact with the group that allegedly offered to take them to Australia from Malaysia, via Indonesia.
"(They) said Australia is a safe country. They will receive you in the sea (sic) ," Mr Al Shareeda said, aided by an interpreter.
"They will be welcoming you to you because they need refugees."
Allami is charged with aggravated people smuggling, accused of trying to facilitate the family's entry into Australia.
Mr Al Shareeda and his family have recently been released into community detention in South Australia.
The trial continues.