Six people detained near Mildura as labour hire intermediaries targeted

Officers from the Australian Border Force (ABF) have detained six people this week as part of ongoing work to combat unscrupulous labour hire intermediaries responsible for the systemic exploitation of foreign nationals working in the agricultural industry.

Across December 16-18, three search warrants were executed in Tol Tol, Mildura and Swan Hill, where six people were detained ahead of their removal from Australia. All were unlawful non-citizens (UNCs). The group comprised three people from Taiwan, China, two Indonesians and one Malaysian.

An additional five people were suspected of working in breach of their visa conditions and the ABF will continue to liaise with them regarding their ongoing migration matters. Of this group, one was from Taiwan, China and four were Malaysian.

Officers also conducted four employer awareness visits and several illegal worker warning notices and potential infringement notices may be issued.

The activity was part of Operation Battenrun, a national operation targeting labour hire intermediaries and entities of interest exploiting vulnerable onshore workers, including unlawful non-citizens.

ABF’s Acting Commander of Field Operations, Dean Church, said the ABF is committed to detecting, disrupting and deterring organised migration fraud and illegal foreign work facilitation.

“I think it is important to note that those being targeted in this operation are not those being exploited, but those non-citizens that are facilitating illegal work. We will continue to identify and take action against those involved in these practices,” Acting Commander Church said.

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

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