Australian who sold info to foreign spies facing charges
Alexander Csergo, 55, was detained on Friday in the Bondi area of Sydney on one count of reckless foreign interference.
After his case was postponed in Sydney, an Australian man accused of foreign influence will remain behind bars until Monday.
Alexander Csergo, a 55-year-old businessman who ordinarily resides abroad, was detained in the Sydney suburb of Bondi on Friday for allegedly exchanging information with persons working for a foreign intelligence service, according to a statement from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Csergo appeared in Parramatta local court via a video connection on Saturday morning on one count of reckless foreign interference, which carries a potential sentence of 15 years in prison. He will appear in court again on Monday to request bail.
He is the Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce's second arrest since the federal parliament approved the Espionage and Foreign Interference Act in 2018.
According to the AFP, Csergo, who has offices in Shanghai, China, as well as New South Wales and overseas, was approached via social media by an individual claiming to be from a think tank.
Csergo allegedly met with two people he knew as "Ken" and "Evelyn" who allegedly promised him money in exchange for information regarding Australian defense, economic, and national security procedures, as well as other nations.
According to the AFP, Csergo compiled a series of reports for them and was compensated between roughly 1 February 2021 and 14 April 2023.
Authorities say "Ken" and "Evelyn" work for a foreign espionage service and were conducting surveillance activities.
Csero's LinkedIn profile states he has worked in China for almost two decades in communications, corporate strategy, and marketing. He also claims to be an award-winning specialist in integrated communications, technology infrastructure, business strategy, and operational transformation.
He worked for Telstra, Cellarmasters, and the Hyatt Hotels Corporation before moving to China.
The AFP disclosed that "Ken" and "Evelyn" may have approached other Australian nationals and residents, and have requested anybody with information to come forward.
"Espionage and foreign interference pose a serious threat to Australia's sovereignty, security, and the integrity of our national institutions," according to the AFP.
"The Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce, which includes Asio and the AFP, is working to disrupt the threat and mitigate the harm from foreign interference and espionage."