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Illegal workers nabbed in Penola.

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Illegal workers nabbed in Penola

Friday 25 July 2008

Four illegal workers located during an immigration operation at Penola in South Australia will be removed as soon as possible, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

Three of those detained - a woman and two men from Malaysia - no longer had valid visas for Australia while the fourth, from Singapore, had her visa cancelled for working illegally.

All had been working illegally in the south-east agricultural industry around Penola and were located after a community tip-off. They had originally arrived in Australia on valid visas.

Senator Evans said immigration officers from Adelaide located the group yesterday after they executed a warrant at premises in Penola with the assistance of police.

‘All will be transferred to the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne and now face removal from Australia,’ the minister said.

‘These locations serve as further warning that people who are working illegally in Australia face detection, and if removed can be precluded from again entering Australia for up to three years.

‘I again remind employers that to avoid this occurring, they should check that all people they employ, or those hired by contractors, are in Australia legally and have the legal right to work.

‘It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they only employ people with the right to work in Australia and severe penalties can apply to people who hire workers who do not have valid visas.’

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 of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) offers a free service to employers to check work rights. They can access the 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 about illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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URL: /media/media-releases/2008/ce08071.htm Last update: 25 July 2008 at 13:47 AEST

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