Five detained in Perth foreign worker exploitation operation

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have detained three Chinese and two Malaysian nationals in the southern Perth suburb of Piara Waters as part of an ongoing national operation targeting unscrupulous labour hire intermediaries and foreign worker exploitation.

Two of the men, a 34 year old from China, who was in Australia unlawfully, and a 28 year old Malaysian, who was here on a visa with no work conditions, are suspected of higher level involvement in worker exploitation.

Investigations show that between them they have moved close to $900,000 offshore, believed to be from the proceeds of foreign worker exploitation.

The others detained were a 28 year old Malaysian and a 22 year old Chinese national, both of whom were also here unlawfully, and a 21 year old Chinese national on a student visa who had ceased studying seven months ago.

All were detained and taken to the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre pending their removal from Australia.

Yesterday’s search warrants on two residential premises were part of Operation Battenrun, a national operation targeting labour hire intermediaries and entities of interest exploiting vulnerable onshore foreign workers, including unlawful non-citizens.

ABF’s Commander of Field Operations James Copeman said it was an ABF priority to target those facilitating illegal foreign work and organised migration fraud.

“Importantly, the individuals we are targeting in this Operation are not those that are being exploited but those non-citizens that are facilitating illegal work. The ABF remains committed to identifying and taking action against those involved in these practices,” Commander Copeman said.

“We regularly conduct proactive operations like this, as well as compliance activities, to protect the integrity of Australia’s migration system.”