Aussies arrested overseas in record numbers | Travel |



By Samantha HealyAAPAugust 09, 2009 06:43am THE number of Australians arrested overseas continues to increase, with more than 1000 travellers detained in the year ended last June. The figures, contained in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2008-09 annual report, due for release in October, show the number of Australians arrested overseas has increased by 38 per cent in the past five years. Of the 1019 people arrested, 295 had been convicted and sentenced by June 30. More Australians were arrested in the US than any other country, with 203 people detained. Thai police arrested the second-highest number of Australians, with 63 people detained. More Australians died in Thailand than any other destination. DFAT recorded 105 deaths of tourists in the Asian nation and expatriates in the 2008-09 year. Foreign prisoner advocate Kay Danes said many overseas arrests were for drug possession or trafficking. "People are not deterred by the plight of people like Schapelle Corby (arrested in Bali, 2004)," Mrs Danes said. "They are not deterred by the death penalty because they believe they are smarter, more organised than the ones before them," she said. A DFAT spokeswoman said the rise in arrests was most likely due to the increasing number travelling overseas. DFAT figures show Australians made 6,009,033 trips overseas in 2008-09, up from 5,878,445 the previous financial year. Also in 2008-09, 1480 Australians spent time in hospital overseas. Indonesia had the highest number of Australian taken to hospital, with 191 people seeking treatment. Thailand was next with 175 followed by China (156). A further 5992 people were provided with "welfare and guidance" by DFAT officers. Guidance was sought following assaults (238 cases), thefts (1445), child welfare checks (196) and other welfare matters (4113).

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