'Links between mafia and Australian politicians revealed'

LOOPHOLES in federal political donations laws have allowed criminals with Mafia links to lobby politicians.

Reports by Fairfax Media and ABC on Monday said confidential federal police reports showed Australia's MPs were open to "potential corruption".

The reports also said alleged Calabrian Mafia figures had met former prime minister John Howard at Liberal fundraising events, but Mr Howard was unaware of the people's connections.

While no specific allegations of corruption were made in the reports, at least one Mafia figure was reported to have obtained an Australian visa by lobbying through political donors.

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A 2013 police report quoted said the Calabrian Mafia, or 'Ndrangheta, used a number of well-known party donors to put a "legitimate public face" on the campaign for the visa.

"Numerous people made approaches to two senators, three federal members of parliament and one state member of parliament," the report said.

 



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