Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton came under fire over his involvement in visa matters concerning foreign au pairs. Picture: Gary Ramage
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton came under fire over his involvement in visa matters concerning foreign au pairs. Picture: Gary Ramage

AFP raids Dutton’s department over au pairs

POLICE have raided the Canberra headquarters of the Department of Home Affairs, in relation to the Peter Dutton au pairs saga.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police this morning descended on the headquarters, reportedly over leaks made against Mr Dutton.

Investigators remain in the building. Sky News reports the operation is related to damaging leaks that were seized upon by Labor in the course of a Senate Inquiry into the ministers conduct.

The Herald Sun reports that the warrant executed today covered workspace in the Home Affairs building, while the Guardian reports police are looking at personal devices.

Labor and the Greens launched a probe around Mr Dutton personally intervening to allow two European women to enter the country, despite being at risk of working in breach of their tourist visas.  

An Italian woman who benefited from Mr Dutton's assistance was to be employed as a nanny by a former Queensland Police colleague of Mr Dutton.  

In the second case, a French woman was the au pair of a wealthy Adelaide family who are donors of the Liberal Party, and Mr Dutton became involved after lobbying by AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.  

A series of leaked documents, including emails from senior Border Force officials warning Mr   Dutton not to intervene, were obtained by the Labor Party and media before and during the inquiry.  

Peter Dutton released French au pair Alexandra Deuwel after lobbying from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan. Source: Facebook
Peter Dutton released French au pair Alexandra Deuwel after lobbying from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan. Source: Facebook

In one email, his former police colleague Russell Keag asked Mr Dutton for help after his au pair was detained at Brisbane Airport.   "Peter. Long-time between calls," the email read  

"I need advice on a matter that has occurred today. An Italian student, Michela Marchisio is being held after her visa has been cancelled."  

Another leaked email regarding French woman Alexandra Deuwel detailed the contact made by Mr McLachlan on behalf of his cousin, her apparent employer, as well as correspondence from senior immigration officials.  

Some of the revelations cast further doubt on his conduct in the matters and created a storm of controversy for the government.  

Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Picture: GARY RAMAGE
Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Picture: GARY RAMAGE

Those leaks were referred to the AFP and Mr Dutton at the time said they had been orchestrated to damage his reputation.  

Mr Dutton has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the matters and was highly critical of the operation and findings of the inquiry.

The AFP and Mr Dutton's office have been contacted for comment.

More to come …      


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