KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22): Five Malaysians, all men, were arrested by the Australian Border Force (ABF) in Perth over “suspected involvement in a foreign worker exploitation syndicate within the construction industry”, reported The West Australian today.

The men were nabbed when the ABF were conducting “a series of nation-wide Operation Battenrun raids” to flush out “firms exploiting vulnerable foreign workers and illegal immigrants”, reported the daily.

The five were also found to be staying illegally in Australia.

ABF Commander Operations West, James Copeman, told The West Australian that the Covid-19 environment “had not diminished the ABF’s ongoing operations to target criminals and unscrupulous individuals exploiting vulnerable foreign workers”.

“We are always on the lookout for cases of foreign workers being underpaid, deprived of entitlements, and treated poorly,” he said.

“The ABF will not tolerate those people who are making significant profits by exploiting foreign workers.

“Information gathered during these warrants will form the basis of further investigations into a number of Australian registered companies suspected of using the services of this syndicate,” Copeman said.

“On top of the unacceptable exploitation of those workers it also disadvantages local businesses who do the right thing by paying and treating their workers properly,” he added.

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