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Investigation Report 05/2020: Operation Zeus – An investigation into alleged corrupt conduct by an Australian Border Force Officer to support the importation of illicit tobacco

Operation Zeus considered an allegation an unidentified Australian Border Force (ABF) Officer was assisting a criminal syndicate by facilitating the importation of undeclared tobacco into Australia. The allegation arose from information identified during an ongoing criminal investigation by the AFP. Operation Zeus was a joint investigation by ACLEI, the AFP and Department of Home Affairs and is an example of the benefits of a strong joint investigation which enabled ACLEI to focus on the corruption element of the allegations while the AFP investigated the broader activities of the syndicate. The investigation identified the ABF Officer and uncovered evidence that the ABF Officer received a bribe and aided and abetted in the importation of tobacco products. The Integrity Commissioner made one finding of corrupt conduct against the ABF Officer, finding the ABF Officer abused his office by conducting unauthorised searches of ABF systems in order to provide information to a criminal syndicate to facilitate the importation of illicit tobacco products.