Australian Border Force officers have caught 27 foreign nationals working illegally at a strawberry farm west of Brisbane.
ABF and Queensland Police officers raided the property near Stanthorpe early last Tuesday. The raid came after police pulled over a car carrying four of the farm’s workers last month.
Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the operation was a blow against businesses which flouted the law and employed illegal foreign workers.
‘‘Employers have a responsibility for ensuring that their workers, whether domestic or foreign, are employed legally and that they receive all of their respective entitlements,’’ Mr Dutton said.
‘‘Likewise, foreign nationals who enter Australia are expected to abide by the conditions of their visa.’’
Of the 27 arrested, 13 had overstayed their visas while 12 had breached their visa conditions.
Officers sent 21 to Brisbane to be deported or apply for bridging visas, while two were granted bridging visas and the final four will face more interviews.
Information gathered in the raids has been passed on the the multi-agency Taskforce Cadena, which was set up to disrupt organisations which arrange for large numbers of foreign workers to work in Australia illegally.