Foreign Criminals Deported on Charter Planes out of Australia

August 12, 2020 Updated: August 13, 2020

A dozen foreign-born criminals locked up in Australia have been punted back to Italy and the UK aboard a charter plane.

Despite restrictions on global travel during the coronavirus pandemic, they were kicked out of the country on the afternoon of Aug 12.

Kiwi crooks have also been sent packing back to New Zealand.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the flights were expensive but argued it was money well spent.

“I honestly believe our country is safer for them not being here,” he told 2GB radio on Aug 13.

“We’ll continue to send people to their countries of origin, wherever they were born.”

Hundreds more foreign criminals facing deportation are being shipped off to detention on Christmas Island.

Australia’s onshore immigration detention centres are struggling to cope with “unlawful non-citizens” who can’t be expelled.

There are now 1550 people in immigration detention on the mainland, down from a record 10,200 in 2013.

More than 70 percent of detainees have committed crimes and will be deported as a result.

About 250 of the most serious crimes are being sent to Christmas Island to free up some space.

Christmas Island has previously housed asylum seekers and, more recently, people returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

The centre is also holding a Tamil family fighting deportation to Sri Lanka after being taken from the Queensland town of Biloela.

Daniel McCulloch in Canberra