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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 21, May 23, 2010, Article 27

REPORT: SEX AND BRIBES IN SECURENCY BANKNOTE DEALS

This article from Australia covers the latest revelations in the bridery scandal enveloping polymer banknote maker Securency. -Editor

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A RESERVE Bank currency firm was willing to supply prostitutes and pay bribes to win contracts, according to a federal police witness at the centre of Australia's most serious corruption investigation.

The revelation is one of many made by a key witness in the federal police inquiry into the Reserve Bank company, Securency International, which makes polymer banknotes.

The witness has told an investigation by The Age and ABC TV's Four Corners - aired tonight - that a middleman hired by Securency to win contracts from foreign governments told him that he intended to bribe a central bank governor from an Asian country.

The witness, who was a Securency employee, has given the Australian Federal Police his diary in which he recorded the middleman telling him in 2007 that the ''governor would be very happy if the commission [payment] was increased''.

The witness has said that one of the most senior Securency managers told him to arrange an Asian prostitute for a visiting deputy governor of a foreign central bank.

''Next time that this official was in town, [I was told] that I was to procure him a bodyguard, and with raised eyebrows and a wink … a particular type of bodyguard being an Asian woman. He was suggesting I might like to procure a prostitute for one of the central bank officials on his visit to Melbourne,'' said the police witness in an interview with Four Corners. The witness said he did not act on the request although he believed other employees had arranged prostitutes.

In a 2008 diary entry, the witness recorded that a consultant employed in Asia by Australia's overseas trade agency Austrade told him that to win contracts Securency needed to hire someone to bribe officials or ''to pass white envelopes for you''.

Securency is a Melbourne-based polymer banknote company half-owned and supervised by the Reserve Bank. It has employed a network of global agents to help it convince foreign central banks and governments to buy its banknotes.

A federal police taskforce is investigating Securency for allegedly bribing government officials in countries including Nigeria, Malaysia and Vietnam.

To read the complete article, see: Sex, bribes in banknote deals (www.smh.com.au/business/sex-bribes-in-banknote-deals-20100523-w3yx.html)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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