11 March 2009
Australian govt uncovers illegal working racket
The Australian government has backed a major immigration raid across three states after a tip-off that the meat industry was harbouring illegal workers.
The Federal Police, state law enforcement and other government agencies conducted the raids in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, which concluded with the seizure of the perpetrating leader of the racket and fraudulent passports.
Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said the government acted on information that an intermediary was hiring foreign Chinese labour to work in the meat industry unlawfully.
Up to 100 illegal workers are suspected to be involved in the racket, while more than 30 people have been found working in breach of their Australian visa conditions or were not holders of an Australian visa at all. According to the government, those found in breach of their Australian visas will have them removed, most of which being an Australian holiday visa or Australian student visa.
Senator Evans hopes this event would set an example that those working illegally in Australia would not be tolerated.
"This operation demonstrates that if people work illegally or if people employ illegal workers, they will be caught," Senator Evans said.
"The Rudd Government is committed to maintaining the integrity of Australia's visa program and locating people who are working illegally or overstaying their visas."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.