Immigration Operation Nets Six Illegal Workers

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11th February 2010, 05:50pm - Views: 637

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11 February 2010

Immigration operation nets six illegal workers

Arrangements are being made for the removal of six Malaysian illegal workers after they were

detained in an immigration compliance operation in north Perth today.

Acting on information from the community, compliance officers located the six people working

in breach of their visa conditions in a house in Perth’s northern suburbs early today. 

The five men and one woman, who were working in the horticulture industry, are now in

detention and arrangements are being made for their removal from Australia as soon as


A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said investigations into the

circumstances of their employment, including any involvement of labour hire organisers, are


“This operation should serve as a warning to individuals and employers that illegal work and

breaches of immigration law will not be tolerated,” the spokesman said.

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

this operation demonstrates that if people work illegally or employ illegal workers, they will be


“It is the responsibility of employers to check with the department that all people they hire

have the legal right to work in Australia.”

In 2008-09, DIAC located 990 people who were working in Australia illegally, including 152 in

Western Australia.

The main industries in which illegal workers were located were the agriculture, forestry and

fishing industries, which accounted for 295 illegal workers or 29.8 per cent of those caught.

Employers can face severe penalties for hiring people who do not have work rights 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 worker. 

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. 

People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the Immigration

Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623. 

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