The Australian Border Force (ABF) has launched an awareness campaign to encourage the Australian community to support the work of the ABF by reporting suspicious or illegal immigration, Customs and border-related activity to Border Watch.
It is critical that the ABF partners with the community — including business and industry — to help keep Australia safe. Reports to Border Watch help the ABF to investigate, detect and stop illegal and dangerous activity, the organisation said.
ABF Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command Kaylene Zakharoff said the ABF has seen some extremely positive outcomes thanks to the reports made by industry. These reports have been instrumental in hundreds of seizures of illicit drugs, tobacco, weapons and wildlife, as well as a number of immigration and visa related operational outcomes.
“In just the second half of last year, the ABF received in excess of 21,500 Border Watch reports, which led to over 1.4 tonnes of drugs and precursors being seized,” she said.
Recently, information was received from a customs broker through Border Watch about a sea cargo consignment. The broker noticed several suspicious things about the shipment that raised potential concerns around its stated contents.
The referral to Border Watch resulted in a large seizure of methamphetamine, located within the consignment, with a street value of over $150 million. This seizure prevented the potential manufacture of over 1.5 million hits of ice.
“Business and industry members are often well placed to identify suspicious activities in their industries and local areas. You or your business can play an important role in helping to protect the border, the economy and the safety of the community by reporting suspicious activities to Border Watch. You don’t have to give your name,” Assistant Commissioner Zakharoff said.
The Border Watch program and its predecessors, Customs Watch and Customs Hotline, has a proven track record of more than 20 years of delivering positive outcomes at the border and has become an integral part of the ABF’s information gathering methods.
By continuing to report suspicious activity to Border Watch, you or your business can help the ABF to stop illegal activity.
The types of reports to make to Border Watch relate to:
- Customs and border-related offences such as drug and precursor imports, revenue/duty evasion, illegal currency movement, movement of weapons and firearms, and imports of illicit tobacco
- Immigration offences such as people smuggling, illegal work operations, contrived relationships, false statements, visa overstayers and employer sponsor breaches.
If you see anything suspicious, business and industry are encouraged to report it to Border Watch via the industry premium number 1800 06 1800. Alternatively, you can flag it anonymously with Border Watch at www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch or contact the program via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your business are involved in international trade or transport sectors, you are strongly encouraged to partner with the ABF by joining the Border Watch industry program. To find out more, visit www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch.