Twelve of the individuals arrived at Perth Airport on Saturday (30 July) and an additional 32 arrived at Gold Coast Airport.
Both groups arrived on flights from Kuala Lumpur and all 44 individuals were returned to Kuala Lumpur within 24 hours of their arrival.
On arrival, the individuals were interviewed by ABF officers to determine their intentions while visiting Australia. During these interviews ABF officers ascertained that the individuals intended to work illegally and were therefore detained and removed.
Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command, Clive Murray, said the successful removal of the individuals who intended to work illegally showed the dedication and vigilance of ABF officers in protecting Australia’s interests at the border.
“People who come here to work must do so in the appropriate way and they should be in no doubt that the Australian Border Force will diligently enforce our border laws,” Assistant Commissioner Murray said.
“These removals show that ABF officers take this responsibility very seriously and will continue to stop illegal workers from entering Australia.”
“If you wish to come to Australia to work, you must apply through the appropriate avenues. If you fail to do so, you will be stopped and returned to your country of origin.”
“The circumstances leading to these removals are being investigated.”
Strong penalties may apply for people found to be facilitating the entry of illegal workers into Australia, including up to ten years imprisonment.
Australian Border Force
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is responsible for immigration and customs border policy. It is headed by the Secretary Michael Pezzullo and Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg.
Their mission is to protect Australia’s border and manage the movement of people and goods across it.
They manage the Migration Programme, the Humanitarian Programme, Australian citizenship, trade and customs, offshore maritime security and revenue collection.