Illegal workers detained in Perth compliance operation

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has reported that they have located and detained a number of illegal workers in northern Perth.

Officials located 11 foreigners with no immigration visa for employment – eight of whom were Malaysians, while the other three were Indonesians.

The detainees, who are currently incarcerated in the Perth Immigration Detention centre, will face deportation as soon as possible.

Compliance officers were acting on behalf of a tip-off that there were illegal foreigners working in the agricultural industry.

The search came as a result of additional information from the Immigration Dob-In Line about more illegal workers in the far north of Western Australia, in Kununurra.

A spokesman with the DIAC said that the investigation was ongoing and that their lines of inquiries are in conjunction with the Western Australia Police. There have been more searches for illegal working activity across the country in recent times.

He explained: “We have been helped in the successful pursuit of unlawful workers by reports from vigilant members of the public.

“The department treats all allegations and information received seriously and takes appropriate action. We repeat the warning to employers that it is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly allow a person to work illegally or to refer an illegal worker for work.”

The north-west of Victoria saw 15 foreign workers detained last week, across three separate operations – all of whom were suspected of being employed without the proper documentation.

A spokesman said that this shows the DIAC does not take the issue of illegal workers lightly.

“The DIAC’s compliance officers have been out in force in Victoria recently, and that should send a message to illegal workers that they will be caught.”

A number of people were transferred to various detention centres, pending the decision from the department regarding their future.

The spokesman warned that employers face serious consequences for knowingly or recklessly hiring workers who have no legal basis to be employed.

Individual employers convicted of providing jobs to foreigners unentitled to obtain it can be jailed for two years with a $20,400 fine. Businesses can be hit with a bigger punishment – with fines of up to $102,000.

The DIAC is urging all employers to take advantage of the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) facility, which gives business owners peace of mind that they are, in fact, employing fully legal workers.

Source: Migration Alliance