ASIC seizes laptop, phone: Whitehaven hoaxer

THE activist at the heart of the Whitehaven Coal hoax says the corporate watchdog has seized his phone and laptop.

Jonathan Moylan says officers from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided his camp in northern NSW and seized some of his property.

Mr Moylan, from the anti-coal mining group Frontline Action Coal, has admitted to sending a press release to media outlets claiming the ANZ had pulled its $1.2 billion loan to the miner.

Whitehaven’s share price temporarily fell 8.8 per cent based on the false information.

ASIC is investigating if any laws were broken after the hoax temporarily wiped $314 million from the value of the company.

Mr Moylan told the ABC there had been an ASIC raid on his camp.

‘‘There may be very, very serious consequences for me that’s going to affect only me,’’ he told ABC radio this morning.

But he said he was more concerned about the effects Whitehaven’s plans would have on the environment.

Frontline Action Coal accuses Whitehaven of planning to destroy 1360ha of koala habitat and forcing farmers off their land through soil damage from its flagship Maules Creek project in NSW.

‘‘The real on-the-ground impact going to be felt by the local community here is much more at the top of my mind,’’ Mr Moylan told the ABC. ‘‘These projects are continuing to be approved and generating the biggest crisis that humanity faces.’’

ASIC refused to say if it had seized any of Mr Moylan’s property.

‘‘We’re not commenting at all on that case,’’ a spokesman for the watchdog said.

AAP

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