Stuart Jay Raj – 101 East ‘The People Smugglers’ on Al Jazeera

Meeting with the Smugglers and the Smugglees – All are Victims

(Watch the full documentary below)

Al Jazeera 101 East ‘The People Smugglers’ – Interview with Stuart Jay Raj on working with People Smugglers in Indonesia

For those people who have been following my most recent often sporadic posts, you would know that language has taken me into the world of People Smugglers, particularly in Indonesia.

I have just spent the past month or so between Malaysia and Indonesia shooting a documentary with journalist Aela Callan for Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme that will be going to air on Thursday the 17th of May – 21:30 GMT and have several re-plays before being available for download from Al Jazeera’s website, or viewable on youtube.

In this documentary, we tried to cover many of the issues that don’t get that much coverage in the mainstream press in Australia.  From work I have been doing with lawyer David Svoboda and several other lawyers, we visited a minor who has recently been repatriated to Indonesia after being locked up in a maximum security prison in Brisbane, Australia with murderers and rapists.  He tells his story, how he was recruited, tricked,  how he told Australian authorities of his age and after first being in a juvenile center, one day out of the blue he found himself being flown to Brisbane destined for an adult prison.

We also visited target areas of the People Smuggling syndicates in some of Indonesia’s most remote islands in Nusa Tenggara, as well as tracked down a smuggler’s safe house and listened as several Afghani refugees untangled the smuggler’s web for us from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Dubai, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Some of the questions that I imagine will be being asked after the revelations are:

  • How do these people pass over their passports in Malaysia to officials / handlers at Kuala Lumpur airport?
  • How do these people get into Indonesia without documentation?
  • Who is getting what part of the sometimes up to USD$40,000 that is paid by the refugees?
  • How much money is Australia spending on incarcerating poverty stricken fishermen and juveniles?

One Indonesian senator’s take on the whole issue was quite surprising and is sure to raise several questions in Indonesia and Australia.

Here is the full documentary:

Stuart Jay Raj is a polyglot who specializes in the languages and dialects spoken in South East Asia and China. His talents have allowed him to earn a professional living as a simultaneous interpreter in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian, among others, providing language and cultural training for multinational companies in the region and hosting his own TV programme on Thailand's Channel 5. He holds a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University and has become an expert in the field of language acquisition with a strong track record of success. Stuart's background knowledge of Sanskrit, Khmer, Lao and various Chinese dialects and minority languages enables him to present a fascinating and unique perspective on the Thai language which makes everything fall logically into place.