Three detained after Perth worker exploitation warrants

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have detained three Malaysian nationals in Perth following two separate warrants targeting people involved in the unlawful exploitation of foreign workers in the sex and agricultural industries.

The main target of the warrant executed yesterday (13 February) on a residential premises in the suburb of Balga was a 25 year old woman suspected of being a key player in a syndicate that is making significant profits through the exploitation of foreign women in the sex industry.

During the search, officers located approximately 500 phone SIM cards, which are suspected of being used to facilitate the buying and selling of sexual services in numerous locations across Australia.

The woman’s partner, a 26 year old man, was also detained and placed in immigration detention. Both face removal from Australia.

As part of a separate investigation, ABF Field Operations officers executed a warrant on a Belmont house on Wednesday night (12 February) targeting a 43 year old man suspected of money laundering related to the exploitation of foreign nationals in the agriculture industry, and specifically at market gardens.

He too was placed in immigration detention pending his removal from Australia.

All three were in Australia without a valid visa.

Acting ABF Commander of Field Operations, Sally McAuliffe, said the ABF would continue to target criminal syndicates and unscrupulous individuals exploiting vulnerable foreign workers.

“The individuals we are targeting in this operation are not those that are being exploited but those non-citizens that are facilitating illegal work and migration fraud,” Acting Commander McAuliffe said.

“We encourage individuals who are being exploited, regardless of visa status, to come forward and provide the ABF with information so we can identify and take action 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

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