Australian Border Force detains 12 in Bundaberg

TWELVE people working illegally in the horticultural industry in Bundaberg have been detained by officers of the Australian Border Force.

The group comprised nine Malaysians - eight men and one woman - a man and

woman from the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region and one Taiwanese male.

The NewsMail understands Border Force operation took place yesterday and Tuesday at six locations.

Some of the group were working illegally in breach of their visa conditions and

others had overstayed their visas.

The 12 illegal workers are currently being detained in Brisbane, ahead of their removal from Australia.

The NewsMail understands that some of the workers had been employed by

labour hire companies and others directly by farmers.

Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said the compliance operation was an excellent start for the Australian Border Force, formed on July 1.

"Dealing with illegal workers and visa overstayers is just one of the many vital roles the ABF will fulfil," Mr Dutton said.

"The ABF is a dedicated frontline agency targeting and disrupting the whole range of border threats from organised crime gangs to narcotic traffickers and people smugglers."

People who have information about illegal workers or visa overstayers can call the Immigration Dob-In line on 1800 009 623.