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RBNZ says it received no bribes, prostitutes

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 24 NZPA - Reserve Bank (RBNZ) officials today offered reassurances bribes and prostitutes played no part in New Zealand selecting a Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) subsidiary as its banknote supplier.

Corruption allegations have surfaced across the Tasman, where bribes and prostitutes were alleged to have been provided to win business for the RBA's banknote printing operations.

Banknote supplier Securency International -- half-owned by the RBA -- is under police investigation after accusations it paid six-figure commissions to middlemen in a bid to win banknote printing deals with foreign governments, The Age reported today.

A former Securency employee has said he was asked by a senior manager to help arrange an Asian prostitute for the visiting deputy governor of a foreign central bank, and others arranged prostitutes and bribes.

While New Zealand gets its notes from the RBA, Securency was not involved, a RBNZ spokesman told NZPA.

RBNZ has a contract with RBA subsidiary Note Printing Australia (NPA), which buys the polymer substrate for the notes from Securency. The NPA contract was negotiated directly in 1998.

"No agents were involved and there were no commission payments," the RBNZ said.

RBNZ told NZPA it had "a number of controls" to ensure no illicit activities such as those alleged across the Tasman took place here.

"They pay particular attention to those bank functions where there are risks of actions being taken for personal gain," the spokesman said.

Securency has supplied polymer material to print money in 27 countries, among them Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Thailand and New Zealand.

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