Immigration operation at Sydney markets nets six illegal workers

Sydney, 11 Aug 2011: An early morning immigration compliance operation at Sydney’s Flemington markets located six illegal workers today.

The five women and one man, all in their 20s from the People’s Republic of China, were apprehended following information provided to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) through the Dob-In line.

A department spokesman said all of the illegal workers are being transferred to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for processing ahead of their removal from Australia at the earliest opportunity.

He said the six people had all previously arrived in Australia on student visas which had either expired or, in the case of two of the women, their subsequent applications for permanent residence had been rejected.

“While student visa holders may have work rights, illegal workers in Australia will not be tolerated and the department actively investigates community reports and takes swift action to apprehend non-citizens without work rights,” the spokesman said.

“It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that non-Australian workers they hire hold a visa with valid work rights.”

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 having 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.

The spokesman said investigations into the circumstances of the employment of the illegal workers found today would continue.

People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers are encouraged to call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

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