The incredible saga of Amanda Vanstone and the Mafia is becoming one of those political episodes which gathers more momentum as each day passes.

According to a source in the Immigration department, the lights in Immigration have been burning bright around the clock since The Age broke the story about Vanstone’s reversal of a deportation order of a suspected Mafia identity whose brother is an alleged Calabrian crime figure who also happened to make a substantial donation to the Liberal party.

Word is that if the John Howard Liberals took money from the Exclusive Brethren, then why would alleged Mafia dollars be refused? There are also questions circulating as to why the Australian Federal Police presence at the Embassy was withdrawn and moved to an Eastern European capital.

There are questions to be asked and according to the Immigration source, Amanda’s tenure as ambassador could well bite the dust at a moments notice if this doesn’t go away.

And it doesn’t seem to losing momentum. In an incredible overnight statement, Amanda uses an emotive “I did this in the interest of Australia as a human and generous society”.

The immigration source, who had been overseeing on the Howard government’s behalf some of the most draconian treatment ever meted out to refugees, said this was too hard to take, given that this character was originally given marching orders by Vanstone’s predecessor Philip Ruddock.

According to Ruddock, Francesco Madafferi — the man in the middle of the saga — was a suspected mafia identity who overstayed his visa and had a long record of criminal activity in Italy in the 1980s.

Mr. Madafferi was arrested last month for an alleged major drug trafficking conspiracy.

This is fast become a situation of watch this space.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey