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Oz spy chief reveals election interference plot

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s intelligence chief has spoken for the first time of a recently foiled foreign interference plot, sounding a warning ahead of the country’s upcoming elections.

Mike Burgess, director-general of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation, said the case involved a wealthy individual with “deep connections to a foreign government”.

“I’ll call this person ‘the puppeteer’,” he said during an annual threat assessment speech.

The director-general described the scheme as “like a foreign interference start-up” in which the “puppeteer” funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars to an employee, who set about trying to influence an election.

Burgess did not specify which election was targetted.