The Nepalese parliament is set to investigate the awarding of a contract to print Australian banknotes, part of a multinational bribery scandal.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last year sought to sell its half-share in Securency International, the company accused of bribery to induce officials in Asian and African countries to use its banknote products.
The allegations sparked investigations by police forces including the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Fairfax newspapers reported on Thursday there was evidence to suggest two agents of Note Printing Australia (NPA) in Nepal and Malaysia used some of their commission to bribe foreign officials in return for banknote contracts.
The RBA said in response that a 2007 investigation by Freehills had not found any breach of Australian law following a decision to terminate the use of sales agents immediately.
AAP understands the Nepalese government has launched an investigation into the scandal, with the public accounts committee directing government authorities to hand over documents surrounding the contracts.
Nepal’s finance ministry and central bank have been given a three-day deadline to supply the documents, which will be used to decide if further investigation into the country’s politicians and bank officials is necessary.
The AFP charged six people and two companies – Securency International and NPA – with bribery of foreign public officials last month and another person on Wednesday.
The charges relate to bribes allegedly paid to public officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005 to secure bank-note contracts.
Both the RBA and AFP declined to comment on reports of the Nepalese investigation because the inquiry was ongoing.