– Federal police have charged a ninth former Reserve Bank of Australia banknote executive with foreign bribery offences.
The Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Thursday that former Note Printing Australia sales manager Steven Wong, 57, has been charged with conspiring to offer a benefit to another person with the intention of influencing a foreign public official in a bid to obtain or retain business with Nepal’s central bank.
Three other former NPA executives already facing charges over a conspiracy to bribe officials in Malaysia and Indonesia were also charged with bribery and false accounting offences related to the Nepal deal.
NPA’s former chief executive John Leckenby, former chief financial officer Peter Hutchinson, and former sales manager Barry Brady are alleged to have created a false invoice for $260,000 in February 2003.
NPA, which is 100% owned by the Reserve Bank, was charged as a corporate entity in 2011 with conspiring to bribe officials in Indonesia and Nepal.
It’s sister firm, Securency, and several of its former executives have been charged with bribing or conspiring to bribe officials in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. The RBA recently sold its 50% stake in Securency.
Further charges are expected against several former Securency executives at the conclusion of a British Serious Fraud Office investigation into the firm’s massive commission payments to a host of allegedly corrupt middlemen associated with a 2006-09 deal to provide banknotes to Nigeria.
In January, Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency questioned the country’s former central bank governor Charles Soludo about the alleged bribes associated with Securency’s contracts.
Despite selling its share of Securency, any Nigeria charges would be acutely embarrassing for the RBA. In September 2009, the RBA authorised Securency to pay $7 million to a shelf company registered in an Indian Ocean tax haven despite having four months earlier asked the federal police to investigate the company after Fairfax Media exposed the firm’s shady deals.
A long-running committal hearing in relation to Indonesian and Malaysian bribery charges against several former NPA and Securency executives resumes in Melbourne on April 4th.
Leckenby, Brady, Hutchinson and Wong are due to appear for a committal mention in relation to the Nepal charges on April 29th – Richard Baker & Nick Mckenzie


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
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