Whistle-blowers Expose High-level Corruption in the Reserve Bank of Australia
Annie Darkhorse, Administrator, 30 September, 2013, 10pm AEST.
Two whistle-blowers, employed by companies owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia, have revealed high-level corruption including huge payments made to an international arms dealer and a deal with Saddam Hussein.
Brian Hood (left) and James Shelton: Blew the whistle on RBA corruption
The information they revealed was in relation to the sale of Australian polymer bank-note technology. This technology is designed to produce currency which is both durable and highly difficult to counterfeit. It is the technology used to produce Australian bank-notes.
The whistle-blowers, who have been interviewed by the ABC Four Corners program, are James Shelton, former employee of Securency and Brian Hood, former employee of Note Printing Australia. These companies are owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Both whistle-blowers have revealed corrupt and dubious methods, including huge bribes, used to secure lucrative international contracts for their respective companies.
Information revealed includes the following:-
In May, 1998, officials attended Iraq, under an operation code-named ‘Project Delta’ for the purpose of selling the Australian technology.
The officials utilised a relative of Saddam Hussein, Mr Arshed Yassin, to act as an intermediary for the deal. Arshed Yassin was allegedly first cousin to Saddam Hussein.
65 million dollars was allocated for the project, by Saddam Hussein, to be forwarded to the Reserve Bank of Australia, via Jordan.
At this time Iraq was the subject of international sanctions, indicating a breach of international law.
Whistle-blower, Brian Hood, told of millions of dollars in ‘kick-backs’ being paid to Abdul Kayum, an arms dealer in Malaysia, for the purpose of arranging a deal with the Malaysian government.
Mr. Hood refused a request, by Abdul Kayum, for additional funds, as he knew they were to be used for paying additional kick-backs. Mr. Hood stated he was then ordered by his superior, the Chairman of Note Printing Australia, to pay the addition funds to Abdul Kayum.
Hood stated that he was subsequently harassed and intimidated as a result of his unwillingness to go along with the endemic corrupt payment practices. He states he was told, “You don’t fit in. Fuck off”.
Mr. Hood was subsequently forced, by the situation, to accept redundancy from Note Printing Australia. Hood was privately told, by a Senior Executive, after his farewell lunch, ”Now don’t you mention the agents matter to anyone”.
He was subsequently forcibly escorted from the premises of Note Printing Australia, weeks prior to his arranged termination date, without being permitted to say good-bye to fellow staff or clean out his desk.
These matters were reported to the Australian Federal Police, by the whistle-blower James Shelton. Shelton had been unaware, at this time, that Hood was also revealing the corrupt practices. The A.F.P. declined to investigate, despite the indications that the sale to Iraq was a violation of International law.
Instead, the AFP referred the investigation to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in what can only be colloquially described as the ‘flick-past’. ASIC’s Chief failed to contact a single witness or suspect and declined to investigate the matter.
The heads of Securency and Note Printing Australia have subsequently gone on to take up lucrative, high-level appointments with private companies, including Westfield and AMP.
This matter has been described by Dr. David Chaik, a Corporate Corruption expert, as “the worst corruption scandal in Australia’s history”.