PETALING JAYA: Five Malaysians were prevented from entering Australia on Thursday (Feb 28), after it was found that they were entering the country to work illegally in farms.
Another Malaysian was also refused entry after admitting to facilitating the group’s travel to Australia.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) said the group, all of whom were on tourist visas, arrived at the Perth International Airport on a flight from Kuala Lumpur.
It said during initial questioning, a 34-year-old who was facilitating the group told immigration clearance officers that the others were “family and friends”. However, he later admitted he was paid RM500 per passenger to facilitate their travel to Australia to work on farms in Western Australia.
“Investigations did not find any evidence of human trafficking, ” ABF said in a statement.
The facilitator and four adults, two men, aged 33 and 31, and two women, aged 20 and 27, were placed in immigration detention overnight prior to their removal from Australia earlier on Friday (Feb 28).
The fifth group member, a 17-year-old male, was placed in an Alternative Place of Detention (Apod) before being removed on the same flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
“Unfortunately, we see foreign nationals attempting to enter Australia to work illegally on a regular basis. The ABF remains committed to tackling foreign worker exploitation, ” ABF Regional Commander James Copeman.
“Illegal foreign workers can be extremely vulnerable to underpayment and poor treatment, while the unscrupulous individuals facilitating them are profiting at their expense, ” he added.