Bribery saga continues as Boillot remanded in Melbourne

Authorities have charged Boillot, along with seven other former executives from RBA companies NPA and Securency, for allegedly bribing government officials in Asia in return for banknote supply contracts. The charges, the first under Australia’s 12-year-old foreign bribery laws, came after a two-year investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

Federal police allege the accused used millions of dollars, paid by the companies in commissions to agents, to bribe public officials in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. They have also charged Securency and NPA with bribery offences. The companies, respectively half and fully owned and supervised by the RBA, face a committal hearing next week.

Boillot stands accused of conspiring with other NPA and Securency executives to provide an improper benefit to a Malaysian official to obtain a business advantage. The companies’ former Malaysian middleman, Abdul Kayum Syed Ahmad, and a former assistant Malaysian central bank governor, face related bribery offence charges by anti-corruption authorities in Kuala Lumpur.

Last month,the Melbourne Age reported that the NPA board and the RBA board received explicit evidence in 2007, implicating the company in alleged bribery in Malaysia and Nepal, and that, instead of referring the evidence to the AFP, the RBA asked law firm Freehills to investigate. RBA deputy governor Ric Battellino said that Freehills had found no evidence of a breach of Australian law.  Federal police and authorities in Nepal continue to investigate bribery allegations regarding NPA’s 2002 and 2004 banknote printing contracts with the Nepalese central bank.

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