Federal police probing foreign bribery scam: Varghese

Australia on Tuesday said its federal police was probing the foreign bribery scam there and the investigation should be "allowed to run its course" before reaching any conclusion about alleged involvement of Indians.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2010, 20:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Australia on Tuesday said its federal
police was probing the foreign bribery scam there and the
investigation should be "allowed to run its course" before
reaching any conclusion about alleged involvement of Indians.

Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese was talking
to the media on the sidelines of a programme here when he was
asked about an Australian currency firm making payment to
"Indian middlemen".

"This has been an issue which is currently subject to an
investigation by Australian federal police. There have been
allegations of bribery. Australian government prohibits
bribery and that`s part of a legislation.

"I think we should let the police investigation run its
course and wait for its findings and I am sure that depending
on its findings action will be taken, but I think its
premature to jump to conclusions," he said.

An Australian currency firm, under the scanner over
foreign bribery scam in the country, had engaged London-based
Indian businessman Aditya Khanna, who was linked with the
Iraqi oil-for-food programme scam, for a deal with India,
according to Australian media reports.

Securency, a firm of the Reserve Bank of Australia which
recently won a contract from the Reserve Bank of India for
supply of polymer bank notes, had engaged Khanna reportedly as
an agent, Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said.

An audit survey of Securency, commissioned by the
Reserve Bank of Australia, found that the firm ignored its
guidelines with regard to payments made to Indian bank
accounts over three years, the newspaper said, adding it is
not known if the payments were linked to Khanna.

PTI