Secretary of Australia’s Home Affairs department, Michael Pezzulo, revealed that a federal anti-corruption agency had been charged to handle claims that a convicted drug trafficker, a New Zealand national, bribed officials to avoid deportation.
Pezzulo said though his department has found no evidence in support of the allegations, it would be remiss of him not to inform the commissioner.
Back in February, Australia Home Affairs Minister – Peter Dutton – was accused of directly benefitting from bribery by an Australia’s onshore immigration detention centers detainee. The accusation borders on visa cancellation on character grounds initiated by the current ruling party in 2014.
The detainee, Nauroze Anees, caused injury following an attempt to physically assault his spouse by a group of eight. His visa was after that canceled and then landed in a detention center. While in detention, Anees’ fellow detainee – William Betham, a New Zealand born Australian resident – was released from detention. Anees thereafter claimed that a sum of US $56,716 ($80,000 Australian dollars) was paid to the office of the Minister in order to secure Betham’s release.
Betham was only detained for four months after spending eight years behind bars for drug trafficking and as a part of a drug cartel. On the contrary, Anees has been in detention since October 2016 for serving a three-month jail term in 2011, three years before the amendment in the Migration Act.
Many canceled visas reversed
Anees revealed that Betham told him that he would be out of detention in a matter of months if he can raise $80k and send it to the account of someone in Brisbane. He told him of his good connection in the Minister’s office and that the Minister will personally hand his visa back to him in a matter of days.
Following Anees claim, it has been discovered that about one-third of canceled visas following jail terms for serious crimes were handed back to the noncitizens.
Part of the visas was handed back by Federal courts or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), but some were privately done by the Department of Home Affairs, including Betham’s.
Anees also alleged that AAT had not been an independent unit since the ruling party assumed office in 2013. He also claims he is being abused in the detention center including denial of medical care because of the allegations he made.
Though Peter Dutton has tagged these claims entirely false, corruption allegations within the Home Affairs department are mounting.
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