14 January 2011

Seven illegal workers detained by Australian immigration

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship have detained seven illegal workers on a property near Menindee Lakes, south-east of Broken Hill.

A spokesman for the Australian Immigration Department said information had been received from the community indicating that people suspected of being illegally in Australia were working on vineyards in the area.

A search warrant was executed on a property where the seven, all unlawful non-citizens from Malaysia, were located working on a farm. It is believed they were working as grape-pickers.

The operation was launched from the department’s Adelaide office, with the assistance of NSW Police at Broken Hill and Menindee.

The four men and three women are being transferred to Adelaide today and will be removed from Australia as soon as possible.

The spokesman said the department regularly detected people illegally in Australia or working contrary to their Australian Visa conditions.

“Many of these people enter Australia on tourist or visitor visas but actually come here to work – that is illegal,” the spokesman said.
“Not only will these people be sent home but they face exclusion periods from Australia for three years and a permanent mark against their name.

“We also investigate the employment of these people as it is also a crime to illegally employ a person who does not have the right to work in Australia. The department is committed to ensuring the integrity of our migration and visa programs.”

Employers can face severe penalties for hiring people who do not have the right to work in Australia with fines of up to $13,200 and two years’ imprisonment, while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with Australian Embassy

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