Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) compliance officers detained 16 illegal workers in Melbourne’s south-east overnight, in one of the most successful operations of its type in Victoria.
A team of 22 officers simultaneously executed warrants at three adjoining residences, locating 10 men and six women, all Indonesian nationals.
A departmental spokesman said all those detained were believed to have been working illegally on farms in the Yarra Valley region.
“The 16 people detained were transferred to Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre and will be removed from Australia as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.
“Investigations into the circumstances of their employment continue.”
The operation was one of the largest locations of illegal farm workers in Melbourne and follows one near Mildura recently, in which 12 farm workers in breach of their visa conditions were located and removed.
“Operations like these serve as a warning to the community that they face serious consequences for remaining in Australia without a valid visa or for employing illegal workers,” the spokesman said.
“A tip-off from the public helped this operation and we would encourage other members of the community with information about illegal workers to contact the department.”