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‘Moonlighting’ Border Force official central to Crown integrity probe

“All ABF officers are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism at all times,” a spokesperson said.

“Staff are required to declare all changes to their personal circumstances, including employment outside of the department.”

One Border Force insider told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age there was “no possible chance” Mr Ure’s employment with the junket operator would have been signed off under the department’s code had he requested approval.

A Morrison government minister said he “could not believe it would have been allowed to happen”.

It was revealed on Tuesday that Mr Ure had travelled from Australia to Vanuatu in 2017 with Mr Zhou, who is also a suspected money launderer and runs several Chinese Communist Party influence organisations in Melbourne.

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There is no suggestion Mr Ure was involved in any wrongdoing or knew about the allegations against his employer.

It is understood authorities have previously sought to speak with Mr Ure about his employment with Mr Zhou.

The department said it used “a range of capabilities” to monitor, assess and provide assurance to the Australian community that its officers were not engaging in “high-risk behaviours” or “activities” inconsistent with its code of conduct.

“Where concerns are identified, they are referred for further assessment and investigation,” it said.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has referred a string of allegations about Crown to the Australian Commissioner for Law Enforcement Integrity, heading off a push from crossbench MPs to establish a joint parliamentary inquiry into the relationship between Commonwealth agencies and the casino giant.

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity is the appropriate body to investigate allegations over Crown Resorts.

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity is the appropriate body to investigate allegations over Crown Resorts.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Parliament was told this week the watchdog, which examines corruption within Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, has “the powers of a standing royal commission”.

Mr Porter said it was up to ACLEI to decide whether or not to launch a formal investigation following its findings.

“If ACLEI finds admissible evidence of an offence committed by people outside of its jurisdiction the commissioner must refer that evidence to either the AFP or another person who is authorised to prosecute the relevant offence,” Mr Porter said.

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“Likewise if ACLEI obtains admissible evidence of state or territory offences the Commissioner must refer it to the relevant state police force or appropriate agency.”

Mr Porter promised Parliament he would notify the public should the watchdog decide not to investigate.

The Coalition will face fresh calls in the Senate on Thursday to answer questions over allegations ministers allegedly lobbied on behalf of Crown to fast-track short stay visas for Chinese high-rollers to allow them to enter the country.

The Greens will seek to gain the support of independents and Labor to force the government to answer whether any frontbencher had breached the ministerial code of conduct by pressuring immigration officials to grant visas.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne also confirmed the government was making “appropriate inquiries” amid revelations Crown had a “hotline” to fast-track visas.

“There are investigations underway broadly by law enforcement agencies into financially motivated crime and that includes … the so-called casino junket operations,” she told Sky News.

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