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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06MUSCAT672 2006-04-26 14:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
Cable title:  

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS DISCUSSIONS WITH OMAN

Tags:   PHUM KCRM SMIG ELAB PREL KPAO MU 
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1. (SBU) In recent discussions with the Ambassador, Omani
government officials pledged cooperation on trafficking in
persons queries, including arranging a visit to a deportation
detention facility in May. The Inspector General of the
Royal Oman Police noted that 80-100 migrant smugglers are
arrested and convicted yearly. Officials reiterated interest
in participating in TIP-related International Visitor
programs and touring USG deportation facilities. End summary.



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Iranian Boat Captains


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2. (SBU) In the Embassy's continuing efforts to engage in
dialog on trafficking in persons (TIP), the Ambassador raised
the topics in recent meetings with senior Omani officials.
In his April 22 courtesy call on the Inspector General of the
Royal Oman Police (ROP), Lt.Gen. Malik al-Maamari responded
to the Embassy's standing request to visit the deportation
detention facility in Sohar, saying a visit will be arranged
in May. He noted that Oman arrests, on average, 80-100 human
smugglers each year. The smugglers, almost always Iranian
captains of smuggling boats that bring illegal South Asian
migrants into Oman en route to work in the UAE, are sentenced
to 2-3 years in prison and have their property confiscated
and sold at auction. Dozens of illegal migrants are
interdicted daily, the ROP commander noted. All are
eventually repatriated at Omani expense once their identity
is confirmed.



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MFA Seeks Engagement


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3. (SBU) The Ambassador also raised TIP issues in his April
25 meeting with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Sayyid Badr
al-Busaidi, seeking Omani government cooperation in Embassy
efforts to get a complete and accurate picture of TIP
concerns in Oman. The Ambassador likewise urged Oman to
ensure safe conditions on the ships returning deportees to
Pakistan in light of recent ferry disasters in the Arabian
Gulf and Red Sea. Sayyid Badr expressed his firm support for
cooperating with the USG on TIP, saying the Sultanate is
always keen to improve its processes, and that any state has
a moral and humanitarian obligation to ensure that people are
not exploited by traffickers. In this light, he reiterated
Oman's interest in visiting deportation facilities in the
U.S. to get a sense of best practices (reftel), noting that
Oman and the U.S. face a similar problem of controlling
illegal immigration. He also said that he will inform the
Embassy of the specific date for the deportation center visit
once notified by the ROP.



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International Visitor Interest


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4. (SBU) The Embassy received a diplomatic note on April 15
forwarding a query from Oman's Ministry of Manpower as to
whether it would be possible for more than one person to
participate in a State Department-funded International
Visitor program on trafficking in persons. (Note: We are
hopeful at least one Omani nominee will be selected for the
program. End note.)
GRAPPO