In the latest fallout from the Securency bribery scandal, The Age of Australia reported on the failure of a (no longer) secret deal to print polymer banknotes. The article also notes that U.S. banknote paper supplier Crane & Co backed out of a deal to purchase Securency.
THE Bank of England has cancelled a secret plan to print the £5 banknote on polymer material supplied by a Reserve Bank of Australia subsidiary as the fallout spreads from the international bribery scandal engulfing the company.
The Age can also reveal that the American company that supplies the paper material on which the US Federal Reserve prints the greenback has baulked at buying Securency International, which makes polymer banknote substrate, after conducting months of due diligence.
Securency was put up for sale by the RBA in November last year, 18 months after The Age first revealed concerns that the company's payment of millions of dollars to overseas middlemen may have been used to bribe foreign officials.
The Age has learnt the Bank of England was preparing to trial printing of its high-circulation £5 note on Securency's polymer. But it recently overturned the decision because of the criminal charges against the company and its former executives.
Had the deal gone ahead, it could have become Securency's most prestigious contract and also one of its most lucrative. The Bank of England did not respond to questions from The Age.
Securency is half-owned by British company Innovia Films. Britain's Serious Fraud Office is investigating the company for allegedly bribing Nigerian officials to win a series of contracts between 2006 and 2009.
Securency paid middlemen involved in the Nigerian deals about $20 million in commission payments, much of which was wired to tax haven locations notorious for their secrecy and use in money laundering.
US paper banknote supplier Crane & Co also recently decided to pull out of the acquisition process for Securency.
To read the complete article, see:
Bribery fallout sinks £5-note deal
Wayne Homren, Editor
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