'Shady tradies' to be deported after police bust

Liam Croy and Elle Farcic
Police investigating renovation scam raid a Hazelmere caravan park. Picture: 7 News

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is preparing to deport 26 Irish nationals after police busted a home renovation scam in Perth.

Five men and two 17-year-old boys were arrested yesterday during a raid at a caravan park in Hazelmere.

Police also found more than $120,000 cash and two Rolex watches worth $36,000.

Another 19 woman and children were detained by the department.

All 26 Irish nationals have had their visas cancelled and are in custody awaiting deportation.

During the past week police have received a spike in complaints about men with Irish accents approaching people about home renovation work.

The men allegedly convinced a number of elderly people to hand over significant amounts of money in exchange for shoddy or incomplete work.

Police believe the men are also responsible for similar incidents in the Eastern States.

Detective Sergeant Tony Walton said the group targeted some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

“We are looking at people between 90 and 94 years of age, where they have handed over a considerably large amount of money for this restoration work,” he said.

“They have then been quite forceful in relation to getting the money.

“In some cases they’ve gone back three days in a row to get different sums of money.”

Consumer Protection has received 39 “travelling conmen” reports this month relating to groups of Irishmen approaching people in their homes.

One customer paid $17,000 for an unfinished painting job and another paid $12,000 for incomplete roof repairs.

The men allegedly carried fraudulent business cards in a bid to convince people it was safe to hand over their cash.