Businessman accused of spying for China by Australia

Two suspects of spying in China handed over envelopes of cash to a Sydney businessman to get information on topics such as the Oculus deal, according to Australian prosecutors.

The court denied bail to businessman Alexander Sergo when he appeared via video link from prison to the Downing Center local court in Sydney on charges of negligent foreign interference.

The charge, included in the covert foreign interference and espionage laws that infuriated China when passed in 2018, carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The businessman is accused of receiving money from two suspected Chinese spies, whom he knows as Kane and Evelyn, in exchange for handwritten reports on Australia’s defense, economic and national security measures from 2021, when he worked in Shanghai, where he owns a consulting company in the field. telecommunications and technological infrastructure.

Prosecutor Conor McCreath said topics include the Ocos partnership between Australia, the UK and the US to build an Australian submarine fleet powered by US nuclear technology, which was announced in September 2021.

Prosecutors alleged that the two spy suspects also requested details about Australia’s partnership with the United States, Japan and India, known as the Quadripartite Security Dialogue, as well as information about Australia’s lithium and iron ore mining.

Sergo has been in custody since Friday, when he was arrested at his home in the Sydney suburb of Bondy. For several weeks, he was interrogated by police and agents of the Australian Directorate of Security and Intelligence, the country’s main domestic intelligence agency.

Source: AP

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