Four Indian spies quietly removed from Australia in 2020: ABC report

Australia's intel chief Mike Burgess says foreign intelligence officers were "quietly and professionally" expelled.

​ Our Correspondent June 19, 2024
The ABC report said that the Indian officials allegedly targeted former and current Australian politicians. PHOTO:(Representative Image)

Four Indian intelligence officers were quietly asked to leave Australia in 2020, according to a report by Australia's national broadcaster ABC.

The ABC report published on June 16, 2024 is titled 'Infiltrating Australia.' It contends that the "long arm of the Indian state is reaching Australians and threatening national security"

The report said the "Indian intelligence officers were trying to gain access to sensitive defence technology and airport security protocols."

They also were suspected of targeting politicians, and monitoring the Indian-Australian community.

This incident occurred against the backdrop of growing political and economic ties between Australia and India, including defense cooperation aimed at countering China's influence in the region.

Despite these strengthening ties, Australian authorities had reportedly raised concerns about the alleged activities of the Indian officers.

In 2021, Australia's intelligence chief, Mike Burgess, confirmed his agency had dealt with a group of foreign spies, though he did not specify the country involved. The officers were expelled "quietly and professionally," according to Burgess.

ABC's investigation found that at least four intelligence officers, some allegedly working as diplomats, left Australia. These expulsions were not publicly announced.

Australian Senator David Shoebridge suggested that a public response from Australia might have strengthened ties with both India and the Indian-Australian community.

Other sources indicated that this incident could position India alongside countries like Russia and China, known for their intelligence activities abroad.

The report highlighted that since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he has "amped up India’s intelligence operations."

It added that the Indian diaspora is also monitored and targeted under pretext of "defending the country from separatist groups, which his administration has labelled 'terrorists'."


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