A foreign diplomat has found himself tangled up in a Border Force raid at a Christian missionary’s Queensland home.

Christian missionary Jane Smith was asleep when her husband broke the news border security was about to raid their Queensland home.

“I thought he was joking. I said, “Ah stop staking stupid, talking crap to me, taking sh*t,” she told a parliamentary inquiry into job security.

“Anyway, next minute I get up and all these police are in my house.”

Nine Australian Border Force (ABF) officials had gathered onto her patio. They ordered her husband Geoff to hand over his phone.

The Smiths said it was text messages and emails between Geoff and Vanuatu High Commissioner Samson Fare that were of interest to the ABF.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which is part of Australian law, the diplomat’s correspondence and documents can’t be seized.

But Fare had been named on the warrant used to raid and Smith over their role in assisting Pacific Islander workers seeking a safe haven to escape exploitative employers.

Appearing before a parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday, assistant commissioner Phil Brezzo said it was “highly unusual” a diplomat would be named in such a warrant.

But he said it did not necessarily mean Fare was the subject of investigation or a person of interest.

“It certainly isn’t common, having members of the diplomatic community in any way associated with any of the warrants,” Brezzo said.

But the ABF insisted its actions did not contravene international law, and had legal advice to back it up.

“The ABF are satisfied that it did not act unlawfully by including the name of the Vanuatu high commissioner, in the second condition of the search warrant, nor have we acted contrary to the obligations under the Vienna Convention,” Brezzo said.

Fare has been critical of the seasonal worker programme, calling for it to be urgently fixed over concerns of appalling work conditions and wage thefts.

Smith is facing up to four years in jail and fines of $40,000(US$28,495) if charged and convicted of referring unlawful citizens for work.

The ABF confirmed on Wednesday no charges had been laid.

“It seems that border security was implying that Mr and Mrs Smith were profiteering off the back of workers rather than offering them a safe haven in between employers that were exploiting them and mistreating them very badly,” solicitor Dana Levitt said.

“The implication being that they are somehow running their own commercial labour hire company, which is absolutely not the fact at all,” said Levitt.

Photo: The Australian/ PACNEWS