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Banknote exporter in Vietnam bribery scandal

Banknote exporter in Vietnam bribery scandal article image
Fairfax newspaper The Age has implicated the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Austrade in a scandal over a banknote printing deal in Vietnam. Polymer banknote exporter Securency, half-owned by the RBA, allegedly bribed Vietnamese government officials with hefty commissions - more than $12 million - in a case now being investigated by the Australian Federal Police. The payoff involves Hanoi businessman Anh Ngoc Luong, who was hired to represent Securency because of his government connections; according to The Age, his Company for Technology and Development (CFTD) worked for Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security. Securency earlier claimed that CFTD assisted in translating documents. The police investigation seeks to reveal whether Securency knew of Luong's government work. Under Australian bribery laws, it's illegal for Australian companies to pay foreign officials to gain a business advantage. The Age reports that Austrade was instrumental in arranging a meeting between Securency and CFTD a decade ago, after conducting a background check: "It is understood the check referred to CFTD's extremely close relationship with the Vietnamese Government." According to The Age, an Austrade spokesperson could not comment on details, but stated: "Austrade provides services to Securency in line with the agency's role as the Government's trade and investment development agency. This may include arranging background checks through third-party companies, as a contribution to due diligence process on agents." See also: Money trouble in Vietnam for banknote exporter

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