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Further crackdown on illegal workers.



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Media Release

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

 

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: (02) 6277 7860 Facsimile: (02) 6273 4144

 

MPS 30/98

 

** Embargoed until 12.00PM, Saturday, 21 March, 1998*

 

FURTHER CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL WORKERS

 

The Govemment is continuing to crackdown on illegal workers with nine men found working illegally in Sydney this week, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today.

 

Seven men from the United Kingdom and two men from Germany had their visas cancelled and will have to leave the country after being located in the Sydney CBD selling counterfeit T-shirts.

 

The Minister said immigration officers, working in conjunction with NSW police, acted on information volunteered to the Department.

 

"My officers were tipped off and provided with videotape and photographic evidence as well as the names of the illegal workers.

 

"Th is business of selling counterfeit goods is very well organised and these sales people move from event to event and from country to country.

 

“Two of the people detained in Sydney had also worked by selling counterfeit “Olympic" goods at the Winter Games in Nagano," Mr Ruddock said.

 

“People who volunteer information on overstayers and illegal workers are providing a valuable community service and can be assured the Department will follow-up on such information".

 

The Minister said the Department has an ongoing campaign to ensure visitors to Australia abide by the terms and conditions of their visas by not overstaying or working illegally.

 

“Departmental officials make regular visits to farms, factories, restaurants, shops, offices, and other premises in an effort to detect and locate people who are in the country illegally or who are working illegally.

 

“The penalties for such people are high. They face having their visa cancelled, and being detained and removed from Australia.

 

“Their details are also placed on the Department's Movement Alert List so any future applications to visit Australia are more carefully scrutinised," Mr Ruddock said.

 

DIMA also regularly data-matches information about individuals with other Commonwealth Government agencies such as the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Social Security (Centrelink). DIMA is also undertaking a pilot data-matching project with the Health Insurance Commission (Medicare).

 

Between 1 July 1997 and 28 February 1998, immigration officers located 7,176 overstayers, 1,035 who were working illegally. During the same period, 1,235 people who had been detained were removed from Australia and 221 people detained left Australia under DIMA supervision.

 

ENDS

Friday, 20 March 1998

MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 or 0419 278 715

Immigration information is also available on the Internet at www.immi.gov.au