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Compliance operations snare nine illegal workers in WA and SA.

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Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Compliance operations snare nine illegal workers in WA and SA

Thursday 26 June 2008

Two separate immigration compliance operations in Western Australia and South Australia this week have picked up nine illegal workers, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

In a joint operation with WA Police, five men and one woman from Malaysia were located at a house in Perth’s inner suburbs late on Tuesday night. All had arrived in Australia legally, but had overstayed their visas and were working illegally in the cleaning industry.

In South Australia, immigration compliance officers executed a warrant on a house in Adelaide yesterday (Wednesday). Three Thai nationals were detained and had their visitor visas cancelled after they were found to be non-genuine visitors. All had been working illegally in the viticulture industry.

The illegal workers are being held in immigration detention while arrangements are made for their removal from Australia.

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

‘The Government is committed to maintaining the integrity of Australia’s visa program by locating people who are working illegally or overstaying their visas,’ Senator Evans.

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

‘It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they only hire people with the right to work in Australia.

‘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.’

The department provides a range of services for employers to check work entitlements, including the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service, which allows employers to provide relevant identification details of prospective employees with their consent to quickly confirm that they are eligible to work in Australia.

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