A gay man was refused entry into Australia by border force agents after they allegedly found PrEP and sex toys in his suitcase.
The unnamed man was forced against his will to board a flight to Japan after he was accused of going to Australia to engage in sex work.
He had been living in Australia for over two years when he took a week-long trip to Japan to extend his tourist visa. He returned to Australia in hope of applying for a partner visa with his boyfriend.
Before he was able to go through immigration, he was reportedly stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) agents and asked to open his suitcase.
In it, agents allegedly found HIV preventative PrEP tablets and several sex toys. While it’s legal to bring PrEP and sex toys into the country, the man was detained.
According to reports, ABF agents went through his phone after they found text messages that allegedly proved he was planning to engage in paid sex work in Australia.
His boyfriend had limited communication with him, and has claimed the man wasn’t allowed access to a lawyer. His boyfriend however, worked with lawyers to apply for a substantive visa.
After he had reportedly signed the form, Border Force cut off all communication between the two men. The next time they heard from each other was when he was at the airport and forced onto a flight to Japan.
Speaking to the Star Observer, the man’s boyfriend said: “ABF has not provided us any official statements.”
“Any time we’ve made an enquiry they’ve shut us down in the name of the Privacy Act. My understanding is he was intercepted at Cairns. We suspect that there may have been some level of profiling about him being visibly gay.”
“We believe they discovered his PrEP and sex toys in his luggage, and that exacerbated the profile they’d formed.”
He was planning on living in Sydney in New South Wales. While sex work has been decriminalised since 1995, engaging in paid work could have violated the visa he was entering Australia with.