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House: ‘No random immigration checks’

Sylvan Richards

There have been no random site inspections by Immigration officers between January 1 and May 15 this year because of “limited human resources”, according to Sylvan Richards, the Junior Minister for Immigration.

Although there have been two work permit breaches uncovered in that timeframe, Mr Richards told the House of Assembly — in response to Opposition questions — that the Department of Immigration employed only ten officers.

There remain 21 civil penalty cases active, including that of a company brought into the public domain by Walton Brown, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs. The investigation is separate from the two other violations mentioned, Mr Richards said, declining to confirm the company in the third matter because the matter was still pending.

Mr Richards also declined to publicly name the first two companies, identifying them as “companies A and B”. Questioned by PLP MP Rolfe Commissiong, Mr Richards named them as The Reefs and Chopsticks, respectively.

The former got “a stern warning” for landing a person without a permit. Regarding the latter, the employer and employee were each fined $5,000 for employing a person outside the scope of their permit.