Former Border Force Boss Found to be Corrupt, But No Charges Will Be Laid

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Australian border force

Roman Quaedvlieg says he is considering his legal options in the wake of a finding by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) that he acted corruptly while in his position as the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF).

Claiming the process is ‘deeply flawed,’ Mr Quaedvlieg also tried – and failed –  to have a summary of the ACLEI’s findings suppressed, saying  it was not in the public interest to release them.

The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)’s role is to detect, investigate, prosecute and prevent corrupt conduct, and to maintain and improve the integrity of staff members in law enforcement agencies. It is governed by two specific pieces of legislation are the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 and the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Regulations 2017

The story so far

Mr Quaedvlieg, who is also a former ACT chief police officer and an assistant commissioner with the AFP, faced the ACLEI over eight separate allegations of corruption, most of which pertained to the misuse of his influence and position as the ABF commissioner.

He was sacked over these allegations. Three of the eight allegations were eventually proven by the ACLEI, but no formal charges will be laid because of a lack of evidence.

The ACLEI investigation took testimony from 23 witnesses, including Mr Quaedvlieg’s girlfriend, Sarah Rogers who gave false evidence in relation to claims that Mr Quaedvlieg helped her get her job.

Not providing ‘truthful information’ to ACLEI investigations is a serious offence that can be prosecuted under the following legislation.

  • giving false or misleading evidence (s 137.1 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth))
  • giving false or misleading documents (s 137.2 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)), and
  • obstructing of Commonwealth public officials (s 149.1 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)).

As a result, in July last year Ms Rogers pleaded guilty to one count of giving false or misleading evidence and one count of disclosing the existence of a summons to another person, in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court. She was sentenced to a seven-month intensive corrections order and 100 hours of community service.

The Dutton ‘au-pair’ affair

Since being removed from his post with the ABF, Mr Quaedvlieg’s former boss, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, has made scathing remarks about him – including that he ‘groomed’ a girl 30 years younger than himself while she was working for him.

Peter Dutton was referring to Mr Quaedvlieg’s 24-year old girlfriend. The very public stoush between the two came after Mr Quaedvlieg provided a submission to a senate inquiry into allegations against Peter Dutton – that he used his ministerial powers to override his own department and grant visas to two au-pairs.

The inquiry later found that Mr Dutton did have a personal connection with the intended employers of au pairs and misled the Parliament when he claimed otherwise.

ACLEI’s investigation into Crown Casino

Mr Quaedvlieg has also been a key witness in another ACLEI investigation into corruption involving the Australian Border Force and the Home Affairs Department  and its interactions with Crown Casino. This investigation is the result of mainstream media reports that Crown Resorts had partnered with tour companies backed by organised crime syndicates implicated in drug running, money laundering and human trafficking, in order to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers.

Leaked emails also suggest that Australian visa and consulate officials in China often fast-tracked visas for wealthy gamblers to come to Crown venues in Melbourne and Perth, despite some posing potential security risks or being persons of interest to law enforcement.

That ACLEI investigation is continuing.

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Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Spring 2022.

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