Immigration Crackdown Nets 15 Illegal Workers in Victoria

Victoria – Law enforcers of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have detained a family of three as part of the week-long crackdown on illegal workers in Victoria as investigations continue in the region.

The recent arrest has brought the total number of arrested illegal workers to 15, following two other successful operation within 72 hours in the north-west Victoria region in late January.

Earlier, the compliance teams had detained six suspected illegal farm workers – two women and four men – in the Rochester area. Five of those arrested were Malaysians and one Indonesian  who were all visa over-stayers.

Illegal workers

At least six other Malaysians – four men and two women – who were suspected of working illegally on farms in the Robinvale region were also arrested.

The arrested people were brought to the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne  while the family was taken to another detention place, pending arrangements for their removal.

The DIA said the week-long crackdown was possible with the help of concerned people who provided information about suspected foreigners who are working illegally in the region.

The DIA reiterated that employers should be aware that allowing a person to work illegally or referring an illegal worker for work is a criminal offense.

The agency also encouraged people to use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service which allows employers to check on the identity of prospective workers and immediately confirm if they are qualified to work in the country.

DIA added that employers found guilty of violating the Commonwealth law against employing illegal workers may face fines of up to $20,400 and two years imprisonment. Companies face fines of up to $102,000 per worker.

The agency asked the public to report illegal workers and visa overstayers by calling the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800-009-623.

The government is conducting investigations into the employment circumstances of the arrested workers.