- Nine people were detained after being arrested at Brisbane Airport
- The group claimed to be accredited media representatives arriving for the Commonwealth Games
An Indian journalist has been arrested in Australia for helping eight people enter the country using ‘fake media credentials’ to cover the Commonwealth Games, authorities said on Thursday.
Rakesh Kumar Sharma, 46, was detained at the Brisbane Airport on Wednesday along with his eight Indian companions, aged between 20 and 37, who were allegedly holding temporary activity visas and claiming to be accredited media representatives.
The group travelled through Bangkok, where officials suspected them of carrying fraudulent documents and alerted authorities in Australia.
According to an ABF statement, Sharma has been charged with offenses under the Migration Act, 1958, including people smuggling, after he allegedly facilitated the travel of a “fake media contingent” to attend the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next week.
“Anyone wishing to enter Australia, including athletes, team officials, spectators and the media, must hold a valid visa and accreditation and must be deemed to be a legitimate visitor,” Australian Border Force official Terry Price said in a statement.