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Case F: Receiving a bribe and abuse of office

The investigation, part of Operation Heritage1, involved the AFP, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, and the then Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

It was alleged that Mr C had used his employment to facilitate two importations of pseudoephedrine through Sydney Airport.

He was charged with the following offences:

  • two counts of conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled precursor, i.e. pseudoephedrine
  • two counts each of receiving a bribe, abuse of public office and offering a bribe to a Commonwealth official
  • possession of a prescribed restricted substance
  • four counts of possessing a prohibited weapon.

Mr C was found guilty in November 2015, and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for his role in the plot.

Lessons

  • This case illustrates what may happen when individuals take advantage of systemic vulnerabilities in a high-risk operating environment that lacks adequate safeguards.
  • Certain roles and occupations may be regarded as high risk in terms of the likelihood of employees being exposed to criminal groups who might seek to corrupt them.

1 Case study G discusses the integrity framework that was implemented in Customs as a result of Operation Heritage.