A Chinese national has been detained in Perth, as part of the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) ongoing efforts to target people suspected of being involved in the exploitation of foreign workers.
The 37 year-old man was apprehended during the execution of a warrant by ABF Field Operations officers on a home unit in the inner suburb of Carlisle yesterday (Thursday, 20 February).
The man, who is in Australia without a valid visa, is the director of a construction company which has allegedly been hiring foreign nationals who do not have work rights in Australia.
It’s alleged he has withdrawn more than $5.5 million in cash from a number of business bank accounts in recent years, with more than $1 million being remitted offshore to China.
He has been placed in immigration detention pending his removal from Australia.
The search warrant was part of Operation Battenrun, a national operation targeting labour hire intermediaries and entities of interest exploiting vulnerable onshore foreign workers, including unlawful non-citizens.
Acting ABF Commander of Field Operations, Sally McAuliffe, said the ABF had committed significant resources to the ongoing targeting of criminals and unscrupulous individuals exploiting vulnerable foreign workers.
“This man was identified as a key player in the exploitation of foreign workers in WA’s construction industry.
“The ABF will not tolerate those people who are making significant profits from the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers.
“The individuals targeted by Operation Battenrun are not those that are being exploited, but those non-citizens facilitating illegal work and migration fraud.”
The ABF encourages individuals who are being exploited, regardless of visa status, to come forward and provide information so action can be taken against those involved in these practices.
Visa holders who do not comply with their visa conditions due to workplace exploitation, will generally not have their visa cancelled, be detained or removed if they come forward and assist with inquiries.
Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who might be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch at australia.gov.au/borderwatch