Illegal group in detention

A GROUP of illegal workers are being held in detention after they were picked up during a Department of Immigration raid in Griffith last week.

Arrangements are continuing for the transfer of the group, found during compliance operations in Griffith and Leeton in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection compliance teams located nine illegal workers at residences across the region.

Two of the men, a Malaysian and an Indian national, were located at two separate residences in Griffith and a further seven people (five men and two women) from Malaysia were located at a third residence in Leeton.

All nine were found to be unlawful non-citizens and have been detained and transferred to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC) in Sydney where arrangements are being made for their return home.

"These operations were conducted in response to community information supplied to the department," said assistant minister for immigration and border protection Michaelia Cash.

"Investigations into the circumstances of the employment of the illegal workers are continuing.

"Employers should be aware it is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly allow a person to work illegally or to refer an illegal worker for work."

The visa entitlement verification online (VEVO) service is available to employers to check the details of prospective employees, with their consent, to quickly confirm if they are eligible to work in Australia.

Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation for employing illegal workers face fines of up to $20,400 and two years imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $102,000 per illegal worker.

People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers can call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.