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44 illegals located in Sydney.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Media Centre

44 Illegals Located in Sydney

VPS 139/2004

Thirty seven people have been detained in Sydney following a major operation by Immigration officers which targeted businesses in the manufacturing, retail, and sex industries as well as residences.

‘This is an excellent result and a warning to anyone in Australia trying to overstay their visa or work illegally,’ the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today.

‘My department led the operation with assistance from Centrelink, the New South Wales Ministry of Transport and New South Wales Police, targeting 34 premises in suburbs across Sydney, including Haymarket, Surrey Hills, Glebe, and Marrickville,’ she said.

‘Of the 620 people questioned, 15 were in Australia unlawfully and 29 had their visas cancelled for working in breach of their visa conditions.

‘Of the people located, there were 29 men and 15 women. There were ten people located from Indonesia, seven from India, seven from China, six from South Korea, three from Malaysia, two from the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Fiji. One person was from Bangladesh, one from Canada, one from Afghanistan, one from the Philippines and one from Israel.

‘As a result of these locations, 37 people are now detained in Immigration detention where arrangements will be made for their removal from Australia, as required by law,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘The remaining seven people have been granted bridging visas to make arrangements to depart Australia.’

Warning notices will be issued to the employers caught employing illegal workers.

Where people are located working in the sex industry they are interviewed to determine whether there are any indicators of people trafficking. If any indicators are identified the matter is immediately referred to the Australian Federal Police in accordance with agreed protocols.

Three women were located working in the sex industry; in this instance there were no indications of people trafficking.

Senator Vanstone said her department remained ever-vigilant against people trying to live or work illegally in this country.

‘In the 2003-04 financial year my department located over 20 000 people who had overstayed their visas or breached their visa conditions.

‘Anyone with information on people in breach of immigration law should call the Immigration Dob-in-Line on 1800 009 623.’

28 November 2004