Warning to check workers’ visas

Chris Adams.
Chris Adams.

Kerri Griffiths, spokeswoman for Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison, said compliance officers had located and detained 120 illegal workers and visa overstayers during the operation at Carabooda and surrounding areas.

‘This activity is part of a multi-agency law enforcement operation targeting organised crime,’ Ms Griffiths said.

‘The group consisted of Malaysian, Indonesian and Vietnamese men and women, who are now detained at Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre and the Perth Immigration Detention Centre, pending their removal from Australia.’

Ms Griffiths said penalties ranged from $3060 to $76,500 per illegal worker.

‘Businesses convicted of knowingly or recklessly allowing or referring an illegal worker to work face fines of up to $20,400 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to |$102,000 per illegal worker,’ she said.

‘The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a free online service for employers to check the visa details of non-citizens ” the Visa Entitlement Verification Online tool.

‘People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers can call the Immigration Dob-in Line on 1800 009 623.’

WA Police Acting Detective Superintendent Chris Adams sent an open letter with similar advice for businesses.

‘It is important that every level of Australian business assists to stop the exploitation of vulnerable foreign nationals and to ensure Australian produce and products are produced free from exploitation,’ he said.

‘This joint agency operation will continue to target illegal activities and dismantle organised crime syndicates that use labour illegally.’

For more information and a guide for businesses, visit www.immi.gov.au/legalworkers.