Shaoquett Moselmane, an Australian lawmaker is going to be stripped of his party membership following reports his office is facing a probe by national security agencies over China links. The New South Wales state politician’s office and home were barraged by law enforcement on Friday. According to police and intelligences agencies the raid was part of an ongoing probe but did not provide further details. The Labor Party MP was not available for a public comment on the incident. Opposition leader, Jodi McKay described the media reports about his party member’s links with Chinese authorities were “dreadfully concerning”.
“This investigation needs to run its course. He will not sit in our caucus,” she was addressing the reports on Friday.
“Three is an expectation on MPs, that whatever they do is in the best interests of the people in this state.”
In similar statements, the AFP: Australian Federal Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organization (Asio) confirmed the raids.
This activity does not relate to any specific threat to the community,” Australian Security Intelligence Organization announced adding it would not comment more on the issue. The Sydney Morning Herald which first break the story said the investigation had been carried for months but had reached no conclusion as of yet.
Relations between Australia and Chinese government have gone fraught since Canberra called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 outbreak while China responding in kind has slapped Australians with economic sanctions in recent weeks.
It also stamps the Aussies’ claims about the alleged Chinese involvement in Australian politics, a claim Beijing has consistently refuted and termed as “hysteria”.
Australian lawmakers have charted out and passed new security and counter-espionage legislations in 2018 to thwart foreign meddling in its politics and internal affairs. The event is reminiscent of 2017 incident when an Australian senator was forced to resign from his office after his shadowy links with a Chinese businessman were established and proved by security agencies.
PM Scott Morrison last week also cautioned the government agencies and Australian businesses against the increased state-sponsored cyber-attacks implicitly blaming the China for the widespread cyber hacks in his country.