An Indonesian man being deported from Australia has promised to warn his countrymen about the risks of people smuggling.

Toni Kaubulan, 53, was one of a crew of three men who helped 25 asylum seekers make their way to Australia in a leaky fishing boat in June 2012.

They were caught by the Australian Navy just two nautical miles from Ashmore Island north-west of Darwin.

The crew was taken to Canberra's jail where they have spent the last year in custody.

Kaubulan pleaded guilty to people smuggling in the ACT Supreme Court.

He used an interpreter to explain to the court how he had been recruited for the job and promised $640 in return.

But Kaubulan said all he had ended up doing was leaving his family of seven young children starving in Indonesia and angering his wife.

Chief Justice Terence Higgins sympathised with him saying that the crew in many ways were as much victims as the passengers.

"The process of people smuggling is a reckless and at times deadly trade, relying on simple folk such as this offender to take vessels to their destination," he said.

"The organisers make large profits but the crew and indeed the passengers they obviously regard as expendable."

But Chief Justice Higgins told Kaubulan he should be ashamed of his actions.

"He has by his participation in the criminal activities caused great distress and hardship to his family," he said.

"You ought to be very ashamed of yourself for that."

Kaubulan was sentenced to one year and nine months jail, taking into account time already served. The remainder of the sentence has been suspended.

He is now in the custody of immigration officials and will be deported.

 

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