Oz central bank embroiled in sex and banknote bribe deals

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Melbourne, May 24 (ANI): The Reserve Bank of Australia is embroiled in allegations of bribery to win foreign contracts.

According to The Age, a Reserve Bank of Australia currency firm was willing to supply prostitutes and pay bribes to win contracts.

A federal police witness revealed this during an inquiry into the practices of Securency International, a Melbourne-based polymer banknote company half-owned and supervised by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which makes polymer banknotes.

The witness has told an investigation by The Age and ABC TV's Four Corners - aired tonight - that a middleman hired by Securency to win contracts from foreign governments told him that he intended to bribe a central bank governor from an Asian country.

The witness, who was a Securency employee, has given the Australian Federal Police his diary in which he recorded the middleman telling him in 2007 that the "governor would be very happy if the commission [payment] was increased".

The witness has said that one of the most senior Securency managers told him to arrange an Asian prostitute for a visiting deputy governor of a foreign central bank.

In a 2008 diary entry, the witness recorded that a consultant employed in Asia by Australia's overseas trade agency Austrade told him that to win contracts Securency needed to hire someone to bribe officials or "to pass white envelopes for you".

Austrade this week confirmed the Securency employee-turned-police-witness did report the comment to an Australian ambassador in the Asian country where it was made in 2008, but said that it had never been brought specifically to Austrade's attention.

Austrade also stressed it had never endorsed bribery. (ANI)

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