A former politician sold Australia to a foreign intelligence service, the head of Australian intelligence Mike Burgess said today, Reuters reported, citing BTA.

The head of the service added that his department had shown the foreign spy network that its scheme in the country had been exposed.

Australian Security and Intelligence Service director-general Mike Burgess, in a speech about his agency's work over the past year, said the spying operation used professional networking platforms, email and social media to target and develop Australians.

He did not name the country involved, but said the operation targeted the Australian defense industry.

During it, money was offered for information about Australia's partnership with the US and Britain on the supply of nuclear submarines.

The nuclear submarine plan aims to give Australia a strategic deterrent advantage

Australia's intelligence chief said the foreign agency also successfully recruited a former Australian politician several years ago.

He did not name the politician and said the person was not charged because he was no longer in active employment.

"This politician has sold out his country, his party and his former colleagues to advance the interests of a foreign regime," Burgess said.

Burjdis added that foreign spies had tried to lure Australians with access to national security information into their network by offering them to act as consultants.

Australian scientists and political figures attending a conference abroad were met by "undercover spies", he added.

One of the scientists provided the spy network with information about Australia's national security and defense priorities, and an "aspiring politician" provided political information, the service chief said.


"Intelligence has disrupted this scheme," Burgess said.

Australia introduced anti-interference laws in 2018. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, under whose administration the laws were introduced, later said the "key purpose" of the measures was to expose China's actions.

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