Four Illegal Farm Workers Caught In Menindee

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7th January 2010, 09:18pm - Views: 765

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Media Enquiries: National Communications Branch (02) 6264 2244


7 January 2010

Four illegal farm workers caught in Menindee

As the grape-picking season reaches its height, Department of Immigration and

Citizenship compliance officers are preparing today to remove from Australia four illegal

workers detained on two farms in the Menindee district near the NSW-South Australian


Three Nepalese – two men and a woman – and an Indian man were interviewed

following joint operations with NSW Police in which search warrants were executed.

The four overseas nationals were detained after having their visas cancelled for working

in breach of their visa conditions.  They are being transported to Adelaide pending their

removal from Australia.     

Further investigations are being conducted into the employers of the illegal workers.  

A department spokesman said the January 6 multi-agency operation highlighted the

cooperation which existed across immigration and police services at the state and

federal level, as well as the serious consequences for workers and employers who

breach immigration law. 

“The department is committed to ensuring the integrity of our migration and visa

programs,” the spokesman said. “If people work illegally or if people employ illegal

workers, there is a high chance they will be caught.”

Employers are encouraged to check that all people they hire have the legal right to work

in Australia. “Employers can face severe penalties for hiring people who do not have

work rights in Australia and the department is active in seeking information on illegal

employment practices,” the spokesman said.

Employers can gain access to the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service,

which allows employers to provide relevant identification details of prospective

employees, with their consent, to quickly confirm that they are eligible to work in

Australia.  Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation face fines of up to $13

200 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal


People with information about illegal workers or visa over-stayers should call the

Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

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