Vietnamese cannabis grow house syndicates exploiting Australian immigration system

July 22, 2018

Vietnamese students and tourists are travelling to Australia to earn thousands of dollars minding cannabis crops, exposing troubling loopholes in the visa system, according to a migration agent.

The Conservative Party has been calling for an urgent review of our visa system which is being gamed by some migrants.

The ABC reports, Jack Ta said his migration firm, which has offices in Australia and Vietnam, has represented as many as 300 crop-sitters who have been caught during police raids on cannabis grow houses.

An ABC investigation has found that cannabis grow houses in Australia are far more common than police had suspected, with Vietnamese organised crime syndicates at the centre of the multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

The syndicate model has three tiers, with heads of the syndicates insulated from those at the bottom — the crop-sitter.

Mr Ta believes young men and women from Vietnam have been travelling to Australia to crop-sit on student and tourist visas for much of the past decade — a suspicion shared by senior police.

Most crop-sitters who are caught in Australia insist they were lured into the job after arriving in the country, but Mr Ta said many travel to Australia on fraudulent visas hoping to make a fortune.

"A lot of these young students came to Australia for the sole purpose of sitting in crop houses," Mr Ta said."They get blinded by the amount of money offered to them, at times $20,000 to 30,000.

"With kids at that age, it's a lot of money."

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