Charges laid over Aussie banknote printing bribery

Charges laid over Aussie banknote printing bribery

Aussie police have charged Securency International, Note Printing Australia (NPA) and six individuals with bribing public officials in foreign countries to help win contracts.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claims bribes were paid to officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005 in order to secure banknote deals.

Senior managers at the firms used international sales agents to carry out the bribes, which in the case of the Vietnam deal took the form of a university scholarship, say police.

The men, all from Victoria face a maximum of 10 years in jail and/or a fine of A$1.1 million. The charges against the companies carry a maximum fine of A$330,000 an offence.

Another two individuals have been charged with bribery in Malaysia.

The charges are the result of an AFP operation begun in May 2009 after the Securency chairman contacted them and follow raids on six Melbourne homes in October.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, which owns NPA and half owns Securency, has issued a statement stressing that none of the people charged still work at the companies and that policies and procedures have now been "thoroughly overhauled".

Securency has also outlines steps taken to guard against similar activity in the future, including an end to all use of sales agents.

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