Feds raid suspected brothel

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
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Camera IconStock Image. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A suspected suburban brothel in Albany was raided by Australian Border Force officers last week.

Two Chinese women were detained by officers on Thursday as part of the ABF’s Operation Battenrun, which aims to protect vulnerable workers by targeting foreign nationals acting as illegal labour-hire intermediaries.

One of the women detained, a 61-year-old, was an unlawful non-citizen.

The ABF said she was suspected of organising sex workers throughout the region.

The other woman — a 56-year-old — had her visa cancelled for working in breach of her visa conditions.

The ABF said the women would be removed from Australia as soon as possible.

The raid was one of four revealed by the ABF yesterday, with others in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Investigations connected to the Great Southern raid — the only one involving sex work — are ongoing.

ABF commander of field operations James Copeman said abusive and exploitive treatment of illegal workers was unacceptable.

“Illegal workers are generally highly vulnerable and often underpaid,” Mr Copeman said.

“Our investigations are ongoing into all of the activity that has occurred in the past week, and enforcement operations will continue to occur.”

City of Albany manager of building, health and compliance Scott Reitsema said the City was not involved in last week’s detentions.

“The City are not dealing with this specific case or working with Australian Border Force on the matter,” he said.

“Residential brothels have been subject to forced closures by the City in the past 12 months.”

Anyone with information about illegal work is encouraged to report it to the ABF by visiting australia.gov.au/borderwatch.

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