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Australia-US customs to share intelligence

Australia-US customs to share intelligence

SYDNEY: Australia will boost its intelligence sharing with the United States customs and border protection service, despite the recent high-profile leaks of Australian intelligence activities by US agencies.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the Australian and US customs and border protection agencies have agreed to a formal strategic partnership from 2014, which will see two Australian officers posted to the US to strengthen intelligence cooperation.

Morrison said a trial of the closer engagement over the past year led to a crackdown on organised crime and resulted in several major drug seizures.

“These results demonstrate that governments must work together to effectively combat transnational crime and terrorism,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

The move to strengthen intelligence sharing with the US comes after a former United States National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked thousands of secret documents, including details of how Australian spies targeted the phone of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.