Illegal workers targetted in raids on farms

CRACKDOWN: Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton.
CRACKDOWN: Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton.

ILLEGAL workers in five states and two labour hire contractors were arrested in a series of visa-related raids on farms and businesses.

The early-morning sting was part of Operation Cloudburst, targeting exploitation of illegal workers, and resulted in 38 illegal workers being detained.

Of those, two were working as illegitimate labour hire contractors, six were working in breach of their visa conditions and 32 were "unlawful non-citizens".

Some 120 Immigration Department officers were involved in the 11 raids on businesses, farms and homes across every state.

Some of the raids were conducted on Coffs Coast properties.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the raids showed the Government would not put up with "unscrupulous employers and exploitation of workers", despite most businesses doing "the right thing".

The raids also collected new evidence to support continued investigations as part of Operation Cloudburst that Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said could lead to "possible prosecution".

"The results of this operation show we're targeting and disrupting entities which seek to commit visa fraud and exploit foreign workers here in Australia," she said.

The raids follow an ABC Four Corners expose of labour exploitation on farms.

Topics:  coffs harbour illegal workers immigration department

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