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Australian businessman arrested for selling intelligence to China

An Australian businessman has been charged and jailed for selling intelligence to suspected Chinese spies, at a Sydney court hearing on Monday.

Alexander Sergo, 55, who has lived in Shanghai since 2002, is accused by police that he had been given a “shopping list” by two Chinese agents with information to be given to them for a fee, according to the prosecution.

“He did this in exchange for cash given to him in sealed envelopes,” prosecutor Conor McCreith told the court. According to him, the requested information relates to Australian lithium and iron mines and the AUKUS security agreement, concluded in 2021 between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to the indictment read out in court by Judge Michael Barco, Alexander Sergo, who worked in advertising, marketing and data analysis, was “well connected” in Chinese business circles and “participated in several face-to-face meetings in cafes in Shanghai” from 2021 with the two spies. The alleged Chinese.

He was arrested at his mother’s home in Sydney on Friday for “reckless foreign exchange” – an offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison – and returned to remand without the possibility of bail.

His lawyer, Bernard Colliery, for his part, defended that Mr. Xergo had only provided the two Chinese agents with general information, as part of an advisory mission.

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