Pictured: Bondi businessman accused of selling Australia’s secrets to alleged foreign spies working for a foreign intelligence agency in China
- Alexander Csergo remains behind bars
- AFP claimed to have compiled reports
- Will apply for bail on Monday
A Sydney businessman accused of selling Australian secrets to alleged foreign spies will spend the weekend behind bars.
Alexander Csergo, 55, appeared before Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday after being arrested a day earlier at a house in Bondi in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
The Australian Federal Police allege the 55-year-old was contacted via social media by a person, claiming to be from a think tank, while he was overseas and made arrangements to meet with their representatives.
Sydney businessman Alexander Csergo has been accused of selling information about Australia’s national security and defense arrangements.
He allegedly met two people known as ‘Ken’ and ‘Evelyn’ who offered the man money to obtain information about Australia’s defence, economic and national security arrangements.
Police claim that Csergo received payment after preparing a number of reports.
According to court documents, he allegedly provided the information over a two-year period from February 2021 to April 2023 in Shanghai and NSW.
The AFP claims that ‘Ken’ and ‘Evelyn’ work for a foreign intelligence agency and are engaged in intelligence gathering.
Alexander Csergo was arrested in Bondi on Friday and will remain in custody at least until Monday. Image: AFP/included.
Mr Csergo, wearing a gray zip-up Nike hoodie and glasses, appeared in court on Saturday morning via video link from a police cell.
He has not applied for bail.
But attorney Conor McCraith, acting for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that Csergo will file a motion for release in Downing Center Local Court on Monday.
On his LinkedIn account, Csergo lists his job title as “Heading Innovation & Transformation for a Smarter Sustainable World.”
He also describes himself as a “multi-award-winning specialist in integrated communications, technology infrastructure, business strategy and operational transformation.”
The 55-year-old says that “large-scale data,” “predictive analytics,” and artificial intelligence are his areas of expertise.
Sydney businessman Alexander Csergo appeared at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday
He also lists his place of residence as Shanghai.
The businessman has been charged with reckless foreign interference, which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.
Csergo, an Australian citizen, is the second person charged by the Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce since new laws came into effect in 2018.
The AFP believes more people in Australia have been approached by ‘Ken’ and ‘Evelyn’.
“We know it can be daunting to make those calls, but I assure you we never take for granted the support we receive from the public,” Ms Barrett said in a statement released on Friday.
The assistant commissioner added that she wanted to underline that the force focuses on crime, not countries or ethnicities.
“Espionage and foreign interference pose a serious threat to Australia’s sovereignty, security and integrity of our national institutions,” she said.
The AFP is urging anyone who has been contacted to provide information to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.
The man is the second person to be charged by the task force since the 2018 amendment to the national security law (espionage and foreign interference) was passed.