September 19, 2023

A former employee of the Ministry of Agriculture convicted of abuse of public office

A former federal public servant was ordered to pay $ 10,000 and perform 500 hours of community service for abusing his role, including accessing restricted government systems hundreds of times.

The New South Wales District Court on Friday sentenced former biosafety officer Jarrod Entwistle to 23 months’ imprisonment, to be served through an intensive correctional order, for an offense of abuse of public office. He was also fined $ 10,000 with 500 hours of community service.

The charge follows a joint investigation between the Australian Law Enforcement Integrity Commission (ACLEI), the Australian Federal Police’s National Anti-Gang Squad and the Department of Agriculture, the ‘Water and Environment (DAWE) – which was known as the Ministry of Agriculture. and Water Resources (DAWR) when Entwistle was hired.

ACLEI said the investigation, Operation Zelinsky, was sparked by reports that associates of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang had established an import business with Entwistle, “acting as a silent partner.”

“Although initially ignorant of their associations with the OMCG, Mr. Entwistle was deliberately trained by the associates of the OMCG to obtain benefits for the company,” ACLEI said in a statement.

The investigation revealed that Entwistle used DAWR and customs systems to monitor imports from a company in which it had an interest, Nano Logistics Pty Ltd, and sought confidential information about competitors to gain a business advantage. . Between April 2016 and October 2017, Entwistle performed 220 unauthorized accesses to the systems.

ACLEI Manager Jaala Hinchcliffe said the agency welcomed the NSW District Court’s sentencing decision.

“This decision reinforces the important oversight role ACLEI plays with respect to the integrity of Australian government law enforcement agencies, including DAWE,” she said in a statement.

“Criminal entities can use advantages such as business opportunities to seek to bribe Commonwealth law enforcement officials. The use of corrupt relationships with law enforcement officials to circumvent laws or gain competitive and financial advantage will not be tolerated. “

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