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Media releases
24 December 2015

Three suspected travelling conmen have been detained and left Australia as a result of cooperative efforts between South Australia’s consumer watchdog – Consumer and Business Services (CBS), the Australian Border Force (ABF) and interstate consumer affairs authorities.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said intelligence from CBS investigators about an itinerant trader under investigation led to Border Force conducting a raid at Glenelg last week.

“CBS had received a complaint from a woman about sub-standard paving work carried out at her metropolitan property, by someone suspected of residing in Australia unlawfully and who was also an unlicensed itinerant trader,” Mr Soulio said.

“Our investigators worked with their consumer affairs counterparts in Victoria and Western Australia and determined that the trader had a history of dodgy work.

“Sharing our information with ABF led to a raid being conducted in Glenelg, where they detained five people from Ireland, including the dodgy paver. ABF determined all were unlawful non- citizens.

“In a lucky coincidence, two of the other Irish males found in the same premises and detained, are suspected of being part of a group of traveling conmen identified earlier this year by CBS, which had been the subject of a public warning over dodgy roofing work.

“All five people, including the three suspected travelling conmen were escorted to the airport and have left Australia.

“This is an incredibly pleasing result for Consumer and Business Services, because traveling conmen have, in the past, been hard to catch, because they tend to flee jurisdictions very quickly.”

ABF Central Regional Commander Rachel Houghton said the outcome highlighted the productive working relationship between the two organisations.

“Officers from the ABF work tirelessly to combat illegal worker issues, and this includes regular information sharing with state entities such as CBS,” Regional Commander Houghton said.

“Successes such as this serve as a timely warning to people who are unlawfully in the community or working in breach of their visa conditions,” she said.

Mr Soulio said in this instance, information sharing between agencies has led to not just one itinerant trader being kicked out of the country, but three.

“This should serve as a lesson to these shonks that come into this country each year to rip off consumers that we will find them and we will stop them.”

For more information please visit the new CBS website or see the Stop Traveling Conmen Facebook page.