MELBOURNE, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A drug raid in Melbourne turned up secret files belonging to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and other police agencies, officials say.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported exclusively Wednesday authorities fear the discovery means there has been a serious breach of national security and criminal intelligence in Australia.
The newspaper said police in Victoria state are investigating whether a former head of intelligence and phone tapping at the state's Office of Police Integrity, who previously worked for Victoria Police and the Corruption and Crime Commission in Western Australia, was responsible for the theft and storage of the documents found Sept. 10.
Boxes of sensitive national security and law enforcement papers were found during the raid of a criminal suspect's home. The suspect is believed to be in a relationship with the former official suspected of taking the documents, the Herald said.
The newspaper said it is its understanding many of the documents contain information that may pose a threat to law enforcement sources. The files also contain details on highly sensitive operational matters, the Herald said.
"Documents from other agencies at which the former employee was previously employed were also located," the Office of Police Integrity told the Herald in a statement. "The OPI documents have been secured by Victoria police and examined by OPI. OPI will continue to co-operate with Victoria police in its ongoing investigation.
"OPI has undertaken a full security and risk assessment. So far as OPI is aware, there has been no compromise of any OPI operation."
A spokeswoman for Victoria police said officers were investigating and an ASIO spokeswoman said there would be no comment on the situation.