By Ron Corben
Aug 4, 2009
Australia's Defence Department has stepped up an investigation into the
theft of a departmental notebook computer from the hotel room of an
Australian naval officer attending a defence seminar in Bangkok.
The officer, Peter de Maskens, a lieutenant commander and signals
specialist in the Royal Australian Navy, was attending a week-long
seminar, starting on July 4 and overseen by the Thai armed forces, on
regional security issues.
Intelligence sources said there are concerns other foreign intelligence
services, in particular China and Burma, may have attempted to track
down the stolen computer.
De Maskens, who was awarded an Order of Australia medal this year, is an
expert in the field of maritime communications and information systems.
A Thai police report said de Maskens had left his five-star Banyan Tree
Hotel at 2am, travelling to the red light entertainment district of Nana
Plaza in Sukhumvit Road. He returned to the hotel accompanied by a Thai
person just before 3am.
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