Example 1 – Companies and individuals charged with foreign bribery in Australia
Australian law enforcement investigated allegations of foreign bribery which led to two Australian companies and nine Australia-based individuals being charged with bribery of foreign public officials. A number of the individuals were also charged with false accounting.
Authorities allege that the two companies and individuals used international sales agents to bribe foreign public officials in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Vietnam to secure banknote supply contracts (23).
A former Chief Financial Officer and company secretary of one of the companies pleaded guilty to false accounting and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for a periods of two years (24).
Australian authorities continue investigations in Australia and internationally with its law enforcement counterparts.
Example 2 – Australian prosecuted in the United States for bribery
An Australian suspect was convicted in the United States for bribery offences which took place in Afghanistan.
The suspect was employed in Afghanistan by an intergovernmental organisation which received more than USD260 million of aid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The suspect’s employer worked closely with both the United States and Afghanistan governments to construct hospitals, schools and other facilities.
It was alleged that, over a three-month period while in Afghanistan, the suspect solicited a bribe for awarding sub-contracts funded by USAID. The suspect allegedly solicited a cash payment of USD190,000 to allow a sub-contractor in Afghanistan to continue working on projects. The suspect was arrested and charged with receiving a bribe as an agent of an organisation which received United States federal funds.
The suspect pleaded guilty to seeking USD190,000 in bribes and sentenced to 22 months imprisonment (25).
Proceeds of corruption in China traced to financial assets in Australia
Australian authorities traced the proceeds of a major fraud in China (involving the misappropriation of public monies by public officials) to financial and real assets in Australia. The Australian money laundering investigation resulted in the forfeiture of assets valued at more than AUD4.2 million. These funds were believed to be the misappropriated funds, sent to Australia via Hong Kong, which had been uncovered by a corruption investigation in China (26). Approximately AUD4 million was repatriated to China (27).
A governor of a prefecture in China was alleged to have taken approximately 10.11 million Chinese Yuan in bribes. The proceeds were used to purchase 17 properties in China and six in Australia. The governor was subsequently removed from office following charges of corruption (28).
- AFP, ‘Foreign bribery charges laid in Australia’, Media Release, 1 July 2011, viewed 16 February 2015 and AFP, ‘Further charges laid in foreign bribery investigation’, Media Release, 14 March 2013, viewed 16 February 2015
- Michael Janda, ‘Securency exec spared jail over false accounts’, ABC News, 20 August 2012, viewed 16 February 2015
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, ‘Businessman Accused of Taking Bribe in Afghanistan and Promising to Steer U.S. Funded Contracts’, 13 October 2010, viewed 16 February 2015 and Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Australian sentenced over Afghan bribes’, 22 December 2011, Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 16 February 2015
- AFP, ‘Proceeds of Crime returned to China’, Media Release, 20 November 2009, viewed 16 February 2015 and AFP, Annual Report 2009–2010, p. 45, viewed 16 February 2015
- The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) provides for the repatriation of restrained funds. Under the equitable sharing program, the Minister for Justice has discretion to return funds to a foreign country in recognition of assistance leading the recovery of funds.
- Tom Phillips, ‘Chinese governor charged over opium fuelled lifestyle’, The Telegraph, 14 December 2012, viewed 16 February 2015