Compliance teams net 11 illegal workers in VIC

A tip-off from the public has helped immigration compliance officers locate and detain 11 suspected illegal farm workers in north-west Victoria.

Arrangements are underway today for the removal of the seven Malaysians, three of whom are women, and four Indonesian men. All were located in the Swan Hill area.

It follows the location of 13 suspected illegal farm workers in north-west Victoria last August. They were all Malaysian nationals.

Those located yesterday were transferred to the Adelaide Immigration Transit Accommodation facility pending arrangements for their return to home countries.

“Compliance teams found them during a 24-hour local operation,” a Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said.

“Ten were unlawful non-citizens and the other, an Indonesian, was working in breach of his visa conditions,” the spokesman said.

“The operation was helped in part by information from a member of the public about people believed to be involved in illegal work in the region. Investigations into the circumstances of the workers’ employment are continuing.”

He said employers should be aware it is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly allow a person to work illegally or to refer an illegal worker for work.

DIAC provides advice to employers about their obligations to assist them in complying with the law. Employers can verify online whether a person is entitled to work in Australia.

The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service is available to employers to check the relevant identification details of prospective employees, with their consent, to quickly confirm if they are eligible to work in Australia.

Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation of employing illegal workers 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 about illegal workers or visa overstayers are encouraged to call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

Media enquiries: National Communications Branch 02 6264 2244

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