150 Qantas employees suspected of ties with organized crime
Qantas workforce infiltrated by organised crime.
Qantas has said it is “disturbed” by claims that organised crime gangs had infiltrated its operations to import drugs and other illegal activities.
The allegations are based on a classified federal law enforcement intelligence operation code-named Project Brunello, which found that up to 150 Qantas staff were connected to crime organizations.
The claims include an affiliate of a motorbike gang who had links to the boss of a Middle-Eastern drug cartel.
According to Australia’s national airline, it was not informed about the operation.
Luke Bramah, chief security officer of the Qantas Group, told The Sydney Morning Herald that the findings were “disturbing” and that the company follows all of the “government’s vetting procedures.”
“We have not been advised of any current investigations of Qantas Group employees involved in organized crime. If concerns are raised regarding any of our employees, we will actively support their investigation and take appropriate action,” Bramah said.
Here are some of the report’s findings, according to The Sydney Morning Herald:
- Approximately 60 Qantas staff members were linked to “serious drug offenses” or “organized crime groups.”
- 23 had “used employment in the aviation environment to facilitate various criminal activities.”
- Seven employees were said to have been linked to child exploitation, including one employee who was charged last year with possessing and manufacturing child pornography outside of Australia.
- Five Qantas staff members had links to “national security” criminality.
- One of the highest-placed criminal associates in Qantas works as a mid-level managerial position at the airline’s Sydney airport operations, and is linked to international drug cartel boss Hakan Ayik. The intelligence showed that this particular employee recruited criminals to work at the airline to help facilitate drug smuggling.