14 Dec 2011: Compliance officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Australia located seven illegal workers in the Perth central business district today.
Officers detained the six men and one woman – all Chinese nationals – at a residential property.
The group, who all arrived on temporary visas and failed to depart before they expired, has been working illegally in the WA construction industry, largely in gyprocking. One of the men had previously escaped from Perth immigration detention centre in 2009.
A departmental spokesman said they have all been placed in immigration detention for processing ahead of their removal from Australia as soon as possible.
The spokesman said investigations into the circumstances of their employment are ongoing. The workers were located through information gathered by WA compliance officers.
“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.”
Employers have access to the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service, allowing them to provide relevant identification details of prospective employees, with their consent, to confirm 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.
People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the Immigration Dob-in Line on 1800 009 623.