Thursday, April 17, 2008

Malaysian "Illegal migrants workers" detained in WA

Illegal migrants workers detained in WA

April 11, 2008 - 10:23AM

Immigration officers have picked up 16 illegal migrant horticultural workers in Western Australia and South Australia.

In a joint operation with WA police, immigration compliance officers arrested nine men and two women from Malaysia and China near the Margaret River in the state's south-west on Thursday.

They had been allegedly working illegally in the region's horticultural industry.

In South Australia, four Malaysians and one South Korean woman were picked up for also allegedly working illegally in the horticultural industry north of the city.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said all 16 people had originally arrived in Australia legally with valid visas.

They had either overstayed their visas or entered Australia on non-work visas, a spokesman for the minister said.

They are currently being held in immigration detention while arrangements are made for their deportation from Australia.

Senator Evans on Friday warned businesses against employing illegal workers.

"It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they only hire people with the right to work in Australia," Senator Evans said in a statement.

"Severe penalties can apply to people who hire workers who do not have work rights here."

Employers face fines of up to $13,200 and two years imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66,000 per illegal worker.

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