THREE illegal Chinese immigrants will soon be deported after one tried to enter the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) with an invalid security pass at the weekend.
Police were called to the Lucas Heights site after five men turned up at a security checkpoint about 7am on Saturday and said they were contract plasterers.
Sutherland police Inspector Barrie Bourchier said one ran away after he was questioned by the Australian Federal Police protective service officers, sparking a 20-minute search involving a police helicopter and dogs.
‘‘ANSTO were getting some work done, renovations, and men working as plasterers inside were asked for ID,’’ Inspector Bourchier said.
The Chinese man was arrested near the Ridge Sporting complex at Barden Ridge.
Three of the five detained were found to have been unlawfully working in Australia and did not have valid visas, a Department of Immigration spokeswoman said.
They were taken to Sutherland police station and then transferred to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
‘‘The three men will be removed from Australia at the earliest opportunity,’’ a spokeswoman said.
The AFP said the five men were detained after an anomaly was found in a security pass.
An ANSTO spokesman said he could not say whether any of the men had previously entered the site, but said two detained by police were contractors.
‘‘All people and vehicles entering the site are subject to inspection by the AFP, who guard the site 24 hours a day,’’ the spokesman said.
Sutherland police told the Leader the worker with the invalid security pass arrived in a car with two others.
A second car then arrived with another two contractors during the police search for the man who had fled.