Feb 12, 2013

Brothels rorting student visas to secure Asian workers

A Sydney brothel imports sex workers by rorting the student visa program, charging them thousands for English courses they will never take. A special Crikey investigation has alerted Immigration Department officials.

Chris Seage — Tax consultant and former ATO audit manager

Chris Seage

Tax consultant and former ATO audit manager

New South Wales brothel owners are rorting Australia’s visa program and the Immigration Department is not doing enough to stop it.

A Crikey investigation has revealed women from Asian countries are being recruited to the NSW sex industry and forced to work long hours while on tourist visas. The pimps then charge the women $15,000 to enrol in English courses while at the same time applying to the Immigration Department for a student visa.

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4 thoughts on “Brothels rorting student visas to secure Asian workers

  1. Graham R

    EVERYONE is rorting Australia’s 457 visa program. EVERYONE.

  2. Rowan Sutherland

    did these girls actually want their cases dobbed into immigration?

  3. Lucy

    What a hideous situation. Even if these girls understand fully that they will be engaging in sex work before they leave their home countries, I doubt anyone would freely and willingly sign up for these kind of arduous hours and conditions. I am not sure if the immigration system is the best way to be detecting these abuses, but surely an increase in spot checks would be a start – at least provide some kind of deterrence. Cracking down on these faux education providers is surely another possibility – not just to detect visa contraventions for sex work purposes but also, more generally, to stop this exploitation both of our own immigration system and of the people who view it as a possible (albeit expensive) way in. But how could we change the legislation to remove these loopholes? Surely it is not fair to deny the right of appeal?

    By the way, excellent investigative work Crikey! Glad someone is paying attention to this stuff.

  4. JMNO

    This problem is a constant one for the Immigration Department and it has not just started (writing as someone who worked there some years ago). It has been going on for years. People traffickers/brothel owners and other opportunists find loopholes in migration law almost before it is drafted. A number of years ago, Asian women were brought in on tourist visas and their minders applied for refugee status on their behalf (the women didn’t know what visas had been applied for) because this gave them permission to work. By the time, the case had been decided and reviewed, the brothel/trafficker had recouped their cost and made a lot of money, not so the women.
    It is an ongoing problem with loopholes slowly being plugged after the event

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