Melbourne company convicted after ABF investigation into illegal workers

Border Operations 14/06/2022
Allegations state Vizzarri Farms employed several illegal workers during peak harvest season

​​​A Melbourne company operating farms has been convicted and fined following an Australian Border Force (ABF) investigation into community allegations of the use of illegal workers.

M & G Vizzari Pty Ltd was convicted on Friday 10 June 2022 in the County Court of Victoria of two offences under the Migration Act – allowing an unlawful non-citizen to work and allowing a lawful non-citizen to work in breach of a work-related condition.

Allegations stated that during peak harvest seasons over a number of years, Vizzarri Farms had several illegal workers engaged through a labour hire company on the premises.

This conviction follows the location of illegal workers on 2 December 2016 at Vizzarri farms in Koo Wee Rup, Victoria and is the latest in a series of convictions after an extensive ABF investigation which has seen two individuals convicted, the forfeiture of about $4.2 million in assets, and fines of more than $100,000.

Superintendent Uriah Turner, Regional Investigations, said the ABF is confident this conviction will act as a deterrent and send a message to other companies looking to contract out labour hire that they must remain vigilant about those working on their premises.

“This is a landmark result for us and the message it sends to the community is clear: If you participate in criminal behaviour under the Migration Act, you will face the full brunt of the law," Supt Turner said.

“ABF is on the ground every day and works in close collaboration with our law enforcement partners, so those doing the wrong thing will be caught and will face the consequences."

ABF Commander James Watson, Maritime and Enforcement South, said crimes like this have serious implications not only for the workers illegally contracted by these companies, but for the wider community.

“The contracting of illegal workers not only contributes to unethical business practices and exploitation, but undermines the migration system and leads to a loss of tax revenue," he said.

The ABF encourages individuals who are being exploited, regardless of visa status, to come forward and provide information so action can be taken against those involved in these practices.

Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who might be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch​ .