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Australia quietly expelled at least four Indian intelligence officers in 2020, according to an investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). These agents, some allegedly posing as diplomats, were found to be targeting sensitive information, raising concerns despite outwardly strong diplomatic ties between Canberra and New Delhi.

The report details Indian efforts to acquire classified data on Australian defense technology, airport security protocols, and trade relations. The spies reportedly cultivated relationships with politicians, a foreign embassy, and a state police service. They even attempted to obtain information from a public servant regarding security measures at a major airport.

Australia’s intelligence chief, Mike Burgess, confirmed the existence of a “nest of spies” in 2021, though he did not disclose the country’s identity. He explained that the foreign agents were “quietly and professionally removed” after being confronted.

This incident highlights the ongoing challenges of espionage, even between countries with seemingly positive diplomatic relations. Australian authorities likely felt compelled to take action to protect sensitive national security information.