A Sydney businessman charged with selling Australian defence and security secrets to foreign spies will remain in custody after appearing in court today.
- Alexander Csergo was arrested at his Bondi home yesterday after a joint investigation
- It is alleged two foreign intelligence officers offered him money for information about Australian national security
- The matter has been adjourned until next Monday
Alexander Csergo, 55, was arrested in Bondi yesterday following a joint ASIO and Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce investigation.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege an individual claiming to be from a think tank contacted Mr Csergo via social media while he was overseas and arranged for him to meet with two representatives.
The AFP said the two people known to Mr Csergo as “Ken” and “Evelyn” offered him payment for information about Australian defence, economic and national security arrangements as well as matters relating to other countries.
The man allegedly compiled reports for them and accepted the money.
Police allege the two individuals were foreign intelligence officers.
“[They] offered the man money to obtain information about Australian defence, economic and national security arrangements, plus matters relating to other countries,” AFP Assistant Commissioner Krissy Barrett said.
Court documents show the alleged offences occurred in Shanghai, China and NSW between February 2021 and April 14, 2023.
Other individuals who may have been approached by “Ken” and “Evelyn” are being urged by the AFP to contact the National Security Hotline.
Wearing silver-framed glasses, a black jacket and jeans, Mr Csergo didn’t apply for bail when he appeared at Parramatta Local Court via video link on Saturday.
If convicted, Mr Csergo faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
He is the second person charged by the task force since national security laws were passed in 2018.
The matter has been adjourned until next Monday.