Lockyer Valley farm raided over alleged worker visa breaches
AUSTRALIAN Border Force officers have swooped on a suspected illegal labour hire operation accused of supplying illegal farm workers in the Lockyer Valley.
Raids on two properties in Gatton, about 90km west of Brisbane, in the past few days led officers to discover more than a dozen workers in breach of their visa conditions.
ABF acting Commander Garry Low said a Papua New Guinean man suspected of acting as a labour hire middle-man was also questioned at a residential house in the town.
"The man was interviewed by officers and items, including computer equipment has been seized. Electronic items were also seized from a second address," he said.
The suspected illegal workers, five women and seven men from PNG as well as one man from the Solomon Islands, were living at the same property as the accused middle-man.
Acting Commander Low said the PNG workers were suspected of working in breach of their visa conditions and would likely have their visas cancelled. The Solomon Islands man was alleged to be illegally residing and working in the country and had been detained ahead of his removal.
Ongoing ABF investigations had led officers to believe the workers were using the property as a base and were being contracted out to local fruit and vegetable farmers.
The raids were part of Taskforce Cadena, which is targeting criminals organising visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign workers.
Further raids in Western Australia located 15 workers suspected of breaching visa conditions or acting as labour hire intermediaries.