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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 756

Senator ARCHER —Can the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce confirm that, since the arrest of a senior Customs officer recently on charges relating to heroin importation, an officer from the Australian Capital Territory sub-collectorate, which comes under the control of the New South Wales Collector, has been suspended? If so, what are the reasons for the suspension? Further, can the Minister confirm that an ex-Customs officer, now working for a Customs agent in Sydney, has been arrested and charged with extortion? Is it a fact that this former officer is alleged to have asked an importer to pay more than the amount required for duty and the cost of processing in order, allegedly, to buy off Customs officers?

Senator BUTTON —I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations, but I will attempt to get an answer as quickly as possible. The allegations contained in the question are ones of substance.