Queensland man charged over impersonating AFP commissioner

By Anna Macdonald

June 8, 2022

Reece Kershaw
This is AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw (the real one.) (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australian Federal Police have charged a man in Queensland with impersonating a commonwealth official.

A video posted by the man to social media showed a person allegedly claiming to be the AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw. The AFP says the man in the video is not the commissioner.

The video, circulated on social media, detailed false plans by the AFP to overthrow the federal government.

The man has also been charged with importing fake AFP badges. The charges were laid under the ongoing Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation.

The police allege 500 counterfeit badges were part of a delivery from China to the man; 470 badges have been recovered.

AFP assistant commissioner for counter-terrorism Scott Lee emphasised investigations are ongoing. 

“While there is no evidence the group had the ability to carry out any specific violent acts, the AFP and its partners take all threats of this nature seriously, and we have not hesitated to bring people before the courts to answer for their alleged criminal acts,” Lee said in a statement.

It is the third arrest of the investigation, with a Western Australian man charged last August and a South Australian woman charged last September. 

The Queensland man appeared in Cooktown Circuit Court and was granted bail, and is scheduled to appear next on July 13. 

Queensland Police Service (QPS) security and counter-terrorism command assistant commissioner Debbie Platz said the collaboration between the federal and state forces will continue. 

“Our agencies continue to work collaboratively, not just in investigating and prosecuting offenders but also in the field of prevention and early intervention through to responding and disrupting criminal activity.

“Working together in the Queensland JCTT ensures we can provide ongoing attention and resources to keep Queenslanders safe,” Platz said. 

The charges brought against the man carry a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment. 


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