Australian Border Force (ABF), Western Australia Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) have successfully conducted a major Taskforce Cadena operation in Western Australia targeting a suspected illegal foreign worker operation.
Warrants were executed on Wednesday morning in Pemberton in southwest WA where 50 suspected illegal workers were located.
This included 27 unlawful non-citizens and 23 non-citizens who were working in breach of their visa conditions.
The operation is another example of the Government’s commitment to targeting visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign nationals.
The Government doesn’t want non-citizens taking Australian jobs and we don’t want workers being ripped off.
The organisers of this type of activity, including labour hire intermediaries, blatantly flout the law by organising for overseas workers to come and work illegally in Australia and then exploiting them while they are here.
Yesterday's operation sends a strong message to individuals and syndicates involved that if you are exploiting workers, if you are in Australia without a valid visa, or if you work in breach of your visa conditions, you will be caught.
The Government established Taskforce Cadena in June 2015 as a specialist multi-agency taskforce to target and disrupt the organisers of visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign workers.
The taskforce brings together the resources and capabilities of the ABF and the FWO, plus other agencies including the AFP, ASIC and the ATO, to investigate and prosecute illegal practices in the temporary visa programmes
Since its inception, Taskforce Cadena has been active in disrupting and disbanding illegal worker operations with 40 warrants having been executed as part of 14 separate operations.
Employers found to be engaging illegal workers or exploiting foreign nationals may face a range of penalties under the Migration Act and Fair Work Act including hefty fines or criminal prosecution.
Anyone with information relating to potential immigration offences are encouraged to contact the ABF’s Border Watch on 1800 009 623.