Mandatory five-years jail Convicted for people smugglers

PEOPLE smugglers caught and convicted of the crime will continue to get mandatory five-year sentences, under a High Court ruling released on Friday.

The majority ruling has upheld a five-year mandatory term for illegally transporting five or more non-citizens to Australia.

It came after a people smuggler twice appealed a verdict against him, which he argued was invalid as he could have been sentenced under laws which carried no mandatory sentence.

The man, Bonang Darius Magaming, was one of four crew members on a boat carrying 52 passengers that was intercepted by Ashmore reef in September 2010.

Those on the boat had no legal claim at the time for asylum, and no other legal right to enter the country, despite the efforts of the people smuggling crew.

Magaming was sentenced to five years' jail with a non-parole period of three years, which the High Court on Friday upheld.

The majority ruling confirmed the District and Supreme Courts of New South Wales had chosen the right sentence for the crime.