Home Affairs raided by Australian Federal Police over au pair leaks

 abc.net.au  10/11/2018 2:10:48 AM   political editor Andrew Probyn

Updated October 11, 2018 13:21:07

Federal Police are raiding the Department of Home Affairs over suspected leaks in relation to the au pair affair that embroiled Cabinet Minister Peter Dutton last month.

AFP officers entered one of the department's buildings in Canberra this morning, with suggestions they were seeking to secure evidence on departmental computer systems.

Police received a complaint from the Department last month about an "unauthorised disclosure of information".

The ABC understands a warrant has been executed inside the building.

A trove of emails between Mr Dutton's office, Home Affairs personnel and others was leaked to Labor last month, revealing there had been ministerial intervention to prevent the deportation of a French woman in 2015.

Alexandra Deuwel, 27, was planning to work as a nanny for Adelaide pastoralists Callum and Skye MacLachlan at their Barossa Valley farm in breach of her tourist visa.

Mr MacLachlan is a cousin of AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.

Mr Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, was also accused of helping former Queensland Police colleague Russell Keag to secure the release of an Italian woman who had also come to work as an au pair.

The Minister has emphatically denied acting inappropriately in both instances and even accused former Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg of fabricating evidence to a Senate committee investigating the au pair affair.

Mr Quaedvlieg's submission to the inquiry recalled a phone call he received from Mr Dutton's chief of staff, Craig Maclachlan, in June 2015.

"He (Mr Maclachlan) told me that the Minister's friend, whom he referred to as 'the boss's mate in Brisbane', had encountered a problem with his prospective au pair who had been detained at Brisbane Airport by immigration officials due to an anomaly with her visa," Mr Quaedvlieg wrote in his submission.

Mr Dutton said Mr Quaedvlieg's recollection was impossible because Mr Maclachlan did not join his office until October 2015.

The AFP today confirmed it had received a referral from the Department of Home Affairs on August 30 "regarding an unauthorised disclosure of information".

Topics: government-and-politics, law-crime-and-justice, public-sector, immigration, australia, canberra-2600, campbell-2612, act

First posted October 11, 2018 13:10:48

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