Former minister Stuart Robert under scrutiny from AFP

A DUMPED Coalition minster has attracted the attention of Australian Federal Police following his dealings with a Chinese mining company.

The former assistant defence minister Stuart Robert was referred to the AFP after he travelled to China to support political donor and friend Paul Marks for a deal between Mr Marks' company Nimrod and a state-owned Chinese resources firm.

NewsCorp reported in February that Mr Robert had posed for photos and led a delegation of business people, including some from Nimrod, to meet Chinese officials.

Within a week of the revelations, Mr Robert was dumped as a minister.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus then referred the matter to the AFP on the grounds it could be construed an abuse of public office by Commonwealth officials.

Mr Robert was also found to have shares through a trustee in another company that had a stake in Nimrod.

Mr Robert has since apologised for travelling on the trip to Beijing. He said he visited China in a private capacity, not as a representative of the government.

The investigation into Mr Robert follows an ongoing investigation by the AFP into the actions of another former minister in Malcolm Turnbull's government -- Mal Brough.

Mr Brough remains under scrutiny over allegations he accessed the diary of former Speaker Peter Slipper for distribution.

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