A Malaysian national on the run from immigration authorities for more than a year has been deported after an off-duty Australian Border Force officer spotted him walking through Morley Galleria shopping centre in July.
The 54 year-old man, an unlawful non-citizen, left Australia for Malaysia on Friday night following his conviction for exploiting an illegal foreign worker through an unscrupulous labour hire intermediary business in Perth.
He had been on the run for more than a year when the officer spotted him at the shopping centre.
He was arrested and last week pleaded guilty to two charges in the Perth Magistrates Court relating to the company.
The court was told the man facilitated an unlawful non-citizen, also Malaysian, to work as a sub-contractor for a Perth home building company between October 6, 2016 and December 16, 2016.
The second charge related to $7700 the man received from the company for the sub-contractor’s work, knowing they were the proceeds of crime.
The man was fined $1000 for each charge after taking into account the 46 days he had spent in Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre since his arrest.
Australian Border Force superintendent of enforcement command in WA Clint Sims said the investigation into the man’s unscrupulous labour hire business began in December 2016, under the
umbrella of Taskforce Cadena.
Taskforce Cadena is a joint agency initiative between the Department of Home Affairs,
the the border force and the Fair Work Ombudsman targetting criminals organising visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign workers.
“This man went to considerable lengths to present his labour hire company as legitimate
whilst knowingly exploiting a man who was not entitled to work in Australia,” Mr Sims said.
He urged employers to be vigilant when hiring foreign workers.
"They can’t depend on contractors and labour hire companies to check if foreign workers have permission to work, it is their responsibility to ensure employees are working legally in Australia and are not being exploited," he added.
“Illegal workers are often underpaid and poorly treated, and those facilitating their employment are making significant profits at their expense.”
Anyone aware of visa fraud or illegal work was urged to contact border watch at australia.gov.au/borderwatch.