The Australian Border Force (ABF) has conducted an immigration compliance operation focused on labour hire intermediaries in Western Australia.
ABF investigations commenced after information was received about the labour hire practices at a large farm near the town of Gin Gin, north of Perth.
Further investigations led to the ABF executing search warrants at the farm.
During the operation one unlawful non-citizen was detained and seven lawful non-citizens were found to be in breach of their visa conditions and have subsequently had their visas cancelled. All eight individuals have been taken to Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Robyn Miller said the ABF will continue to target the hiring and exploitation of illegal foreign workers.
“The ABF encourages businesses to do the right thing and we will deal firmly with those who choose not to meet their obligations,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Miller said.
Evidence obtained during the operation will be used to continue investigations into the employer’s use of labour hire intermediaries to source unlawful non-citizens or lawful non-citizens in breach of work conditions.
In cases of organised visa fraud, the ABF can pursue offences carrying penalties up to five years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $51 000 for individuals and $255 000 for corporations. Civil penalties per illegal worker carry fines for individuals up to $15 300 and up to $76 500 for corporations.
The ABF works closely with the Fair Work Ombudsman through Taskforce Cadena to investigate and prosecute those who are facilitating illegal work activities and systemic visa fraud within the migration programme.