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Compliance operation detains five illegals in WA.

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Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Compliance operation detains five illegals in WA

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

An early morning immigration compliance operation in Perth located five people who were living in Australia illegally, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

WA Police assisted immigration officers to execute a warrant on a house in Perth’s northern suburbs where four men and a woman from Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China were located. All were found to be unlawful non-citizens who had originally arrived in Australia legally, but who had overstayed their visas, and were subsequently detained.

The five are currently in immigration detention while arrangements are made for their removal from Australia. Investigations are continuing into whether any of the group was also working illegally.

Last month, Immigration compliance officers detained 11 unlawful foreign workers in the Margaret River region. Investigations are being conducted into any possible links between that group and those detained in Perth today.

Senator Evans said the immigration compliance operations highlighted a strong commitment to combating visa overstayers and illegal workers.

'The Rudd Government takes a zero tolerance approach to towards people who work illegally or overstay their visas,' Senator Evans said.

'The department’s compliance officers are committed to maintaining the integrity of Australia’s visa program by locating people and behaviour that undermines our immigration system.'

Department of Immigration and Citizenship officers, often with assistance from state police, make regular visits to workplaces and properties in many parts of Australia in an effort to detect and locate people who are in the country unlawfully or who are working illegally.

'It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they only hire people with the right to work in Australia,' Senator Evans said.

'Severe penalties can apply to people who hire workers who do not have work rights in Australia.

'Employers convicted under this legislation face fines of up to $13 200 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker.'

People with information on visa overstayers or illegal workers should call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.