Man detained over ‘high level exploitation’

Australian Border Force officers have detained a target in Perth. Picture: ABF Newsroom
Australian Border Force officers have detained a target in Perth. Picture: ABF Newsroom

A MAN who police suspect is involved in the high level exploitation of foreign workers was found hiding in the roof space of a Perth home unit.

Australian Border Force officers have detained a 28-year-old Chinese unlawful non-citizen suspected of being involved in the high level exploitation of foreign workers in the food processing industry in WA.

The man was detained during the execution of a warrant at a residence in Cannington yesterday.

ABF officers found the man hiding in the roof space of the home unit and he has been taken to the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre.

ABF officers located the man hiding in the roof space of the home unit. Picture: ABF

It is alleged the man established a number of shell companies acting as labour hire intermediaries to recruit workers into the food processing industry.

The companies have allegedly been involved in money transfers totalling almost $4 million.

The search warrant was part of Operation Battenrun, a national operation targeting labour hire intermediaries and entities of interest exploiting vulnerable onshore foreign workers, including unlawful non-citizens.

High level Operation Battenrun target detained in Perth. Picture: ABF

ABF’s Commander of Field Operations James Copeman said the man was a high level Battenrun target after being identified as a key player in the exploitation of foreign workers in WA.

“The individuals we are targeting in this operation are not those that are being exploited but those non-citizens that are facilitating illegal work and organised migration fraud,” he said.

“We will not tolerate those people who are making significant profits from the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers.

“We encourage individuals who are being exploited, regardless of visa status, to come forward and provide the ABF with information so we can identify and take action against those involved in these practices.”

Visa holders who do not comply with their visa conditions due to workplace exploitation, will generally not have their visa cancelled, be detained or removed if they come forward and assist with inquiries.

Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who might be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch at australia.gov.au/borderwatch.

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