VIDEO: Illegal workers busted in Stanthorpe raid
VIDEO has been released showing the moment dozens of foreign workers were arrested by Australian Border Force officers in Stanthorpe.
Twenty-seven workers, many from China, were arrested at the I Luv Pty Ltd strawberry farm in the early hours of Tuesday.
Officers banged on doors at the farm, demanding that workers present their passports.
Police alleged one man had been in the country for two years, while only have a valid visa for three months.
"You've been in here for a long time, we've found you on a farm, so you're working yes? We need to talk to you more about your options from here," one Australian Border Force officer said.
Australian Border Force officers, the Queensland Police Service and the Fair Work Ombudsman executed the warrant at the suspected illegal foreign worker operation.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said this was another good result in the fight against those who continue to employ illegal foreign workers and foreign nationals who abuse Australia's visa programs.
"The government is serious about ensuring that we have integrity in our visa programmes and we will continue to target individuals and businesses involved in visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign nationals," Mr Dutton said.
"Employers have a responsibility for ensuring that their workers, whether domestic or foreign, are employed legally and that they receive all of their respective entitlements. Those employers seeking to bypass Australia's workplace and immigration laws are on notice - the ABF is working closely with law enforcement agencies and the FWO to track you down and prosecute you.
"Likewise, foreign nationals who enter Australia are expected to abide by the conditions of their visa."
The government established a specialist multi-agency taskforce in 2015, known as Taskforce Cadena, to target and disrupt the organisers of visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign workers.
Taskforce Cadena brings together the resources and capabilities of the ABF and the FWO, plus other agencies including the Australian Federal Police, ASIC and the ATO, to investigate and prosecute illegal practices in the temporary visa programs.
Since its inception, Taskforce Cadena has been active in disrupting and disbanding illegal worker operations, with 36 warrants having been executed as part of 13 separate operations.
Employers found to engaging illegal workers or exploiting foreign nationals may face a range of penalties under the Migration Act and Fair Work Act including hefty fines or criminal prosecution.
Anyone with information relating to potential immigration offences are encouraged to contact the ABF on 1800 009 623.