Federal police have been called in to investigate allegations payments made by a company with links to the Reserve Bank of Australia may have been used to provide "kickbacks" to foreign government officials.
Banknote supplier Securency International Pty Ltd, in which the RBA is a shareholder, allegedly made a substantial number of commission payments to agents including some previously implicated in corruption scandals, Fairfax newspapers report.
Some of Securency's agents have been named in official corruption investigations in Africa and Asia, the report says, with at least one having a criminal conviction for fraud.
Fairfax said there were concerns that the company could be open to allegations that some commissions could be used to pay kickbacks to foreign officials.
The RBA on Saturday said Australian Federal Police had been asked to investigate.
"The board of Securency has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police," a RBA statement said.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney on Saturday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he understood the company was established in 1996.
"But I also note that the company has indicated that they're all matters to be shown to federal police."
Melbourne-based Securency is a joint venture between the RBA and British film manufacturer Innovia Films.
Securency manufactures a product called `guardian', a polymer material used in Australian bank notes as well as currency in 27 other countries around the world.
Securency said its agents had signed agreements forbidding payments to foreign officials and politicians, Fairfax reported.
aap 23 May 2009