Australian Border Force Arrests 8 Illegal Workers in Remote WA

Eight non-citizens residing on Kununurra properties in WA were arrested by the Australian Border Force (ABF) on July 17th. The operation was assisted by the WA Police Force (WAPF), and follows the implementation of strict migration related warrants.

The arrested individuals, comprising of six Malaysians and two Nepalese were taken to the Kununurra police station for further questioning.

According to a statement made by Anthony Spadavecchia, Acting Superintendent of ABF’s Enforcement Command branch, three of the individuals arrested are suspected of being involved in a high-level worker exploitation ring and are being remanded in custody prior to their deportation from Australia. The remaining five individuals have been given a conditional release, on the basis that they leave the country immediately.

This recent operation was targeted at weeding out dubious labour hire agents and employers suspected of exploiting illegal imported immigrant workers, who are then left at their mercy. These unscrupulous agencies and individuals are making huge profits, through unsuspecting workers, entering the country via wrong channels. They are in most instances underpaid, not treated humanely or given proper facilities.

Due to the ignorance of these individuals, desperate to enter and work in Australia, these illegal agencies thrive, putting legitimate and properly organised visa processing agents in a disadvantageous situation; hiding the fact that going through the proper channels, with the help of a legal visa consultancy agent, you can, in most instances, successfully live and work in Australia.

Visa fraud is looked at very seriously, and the Australian Border Force has the power to prosecute offenders with penalties of up to 10 years in prison, and/or slap them with hefty fines of $210,000 for individuals and $1,050,000 for unscrupulous corporations.

The ABF is determined to crackdown on illegal workers and the forces behind them, with clean-up operations in full force. No area is too remote to be left uncovered, with the Kununurra operation being a perfect example. With regard to this, Acting Superintendent Spadavecchia, thanked the WA Police Force and Kununurra Police for helping out with the logistically challenged operation in the remote region.

Any information pertaining to individuals or corporations engaged in exploiting illegal workers, visa fraud operations or illegal employment must be reported. You may do so via e-mail to

Or call media contact: Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2244.