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Executives stood down over banknote scandal
November 22, 2009
7:32 pm
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
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Nov 22, 2009.

The board of the Australian Reserve Bank subsidiary Securency International has stood down its managing director and company secretary amid federal police investigations into alleged corruption.

The board says marketing activities involving the company's agents will be suspended.

Australian Federal Police raided offices and homes of Securency's Melbourne-based executives yesterday as part of its investigations into allegations the company breached federal bribery laws.

Police seized computers and files in the raids.

The Reserve Bank says it endorses the actions taken by the Securency board.

In a statement released last night, Securency chairman and Reserve Bank assistant governor Robert Rankin says an internal investigation into similar allegations was conducted in 2007 and came to nothing.

"An internal investigation by company management at the time concluded that no actions were required," Mr Rankin said.

"None of this information was communicated to Securency's board, nor was it made available to the Reserve Bank of Australia's auditors.

"The board's view is that such non-disclosure by company management is unacceptable."

Britain's Serious Fraud Office, meanwhile, is also investigating corruption allegations involving Securency.

Its investigation is focusing on the company's British executives, including its global sales director.

The developments follow the news of the Melbourne Securency police raids.

Greens Senator Bob Brown has been pressing for a Senate inquiry into the allegations.

"The fact that the federal police are making raids of senior offices from Securency must trouble the body politic," he said.

"I think it's high time the Government and the Opposition were more active, because the case has the potential to bring Australia, and by inference, people in senior positions in the Reserve Bank into international disrepute, and that's damaging."

Plastic banknote deal

Half-owned by Australia's central bank, Securency makes plastic banknotes, and it has been a lucrative export business opportunity for the Reserve Bank.

The patented polymer material, which is used in Australian banknotes, is used in 27 other countries including Malaysia, Vietnam and Brazil.

The concern surrounds exactly what Securency's agents did to convince foreign governments to switch from paper notes to the revolutionary plastic banknotes.

It is alleged Securency paid foreign businessmen, often government officials, millions of dollars in commissions in its drive to win banknote printing deals.

In one case it is claimed Securency paid a Vietnamese official $12 million, some of which was wired to offshore bank accounts in Switzerland.

It is illegal for Australian companies to pay foreign officials or government-controlled entities to gain a business advantage.

If it can be proven that Securency executives knew or should have known they were dealing with businessmen working on behalf of foreign governments, they may face criminal charges that carry a 10-year jail sentence.

[Image Can Not Be Found]
Photo: Australian polymer banknotes.

http://www.afp.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf ... rrency.pdf


Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne and were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988. These banknotes are made from the polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) which greatly enhances durability of the banknotes. Polymer banknotes also incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, making counterfeiting much more difficult.

Trading as Securency, the RBA together with Innovia Films, market BOPP as 'Guardian' for countries with their own banknote printing facilities. Note Printing Australia (a subsidiary of the RBA) prints commemorative banknotes and banknotes for circulation and has done so for 27 countries.

Australia, Bermuda, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, and Vietnam.

Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong (for a 2-year trial), Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Samoa and Zambia.

Countries that have issued commemorative banknotes (which are not in circulation) on Guardian polymer include: China, Taiwan, Kuwait, Northern Ireland and Singapore.

A Licence To Print Money

In 1998 Australia issued a new $10 note - the world's first polymer banknote. It was developed by scientists at CSIRO and Note Printing Australia (NPA), a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Today NPA works with two other Victorian companies, Innovia Films and Securency Pty Ltd, to manufacture all of Australia's polymer banknotes. Innovia Films produces the clear transparent film and Securency Pty Ltd adds the substrate security features to this clear film.

At NPA, the banknotes are designed and printed and other printed security features are also applied.

You can easily see some of the security features, like clear windows, vignettes, shadow images, permanent embossing and the holograph embedded in the note. Other features can only be seen by machines.

NPA has successfully introduced polymer banknote technology to over 27 countries and continues to maintain a comprehensive R&D program. In addition to polymer banknotes, NPA also manufactures the Australian passport and other security documents.

Polymer banknotes were developed to increase the security of Australia's paper currency against counterfeiting. In 1967 forgeries of the Australian $10 note were found in circulation and the RBA was concerned about an increase in counterfeiting with the release of colour photocopiers that year. In 1968 the RBA started collaborations with the CSIRO and funds were made available in 1969 for the experimental production of distinctive papers.


Image Enlarger

The front design features a portrait of the poet A. B. ``Banjo'' Paterson, most famous for writing the words of Waltzing Matilda. Paterson also wrote the famous poem The Man From Snowy River. The rectangular border framing Paterson's face is comprised of micro-printing of the first verse from the poem.

The Micro-printing on the note (( in the box, behind his head. )) reads.

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from Old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses --- he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.

Image Enlarger

The reverse design features a portrait of Mary Gilmore, a poet and social activist. The rectangular border framing Gilmore's face is made of micro-printing of her most famous poem, No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest, written and published during the darkest years of World War II as an inspiration for the people of Australia.

No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest.
Mary Gilmore - 1940

Sons of the mountains of Scotland,
Welshmen of coomb and defile,
Breed of the moors of England,
Children of Erin's green isle,
We stand four square to the tempest,
Whatever the battering hail-
No foe shall gather our harvest,
Or sit on our stockyard rail.

Our women shall walk in honour,
Our children shall know no chain,
This land, that is ours forever,
The invader shall strike at in vain.
Anzac!...Tobruk!...and Kokoda!...
Could ever the old blood fail?
No foe shall gather our harvest,
Or sit on our stockyard rail.

So hail-fellow-met we muster,
And hail-fellow-met fall in,
Wherever the guns may thunder,
Or the rocketing air-mail spin!
Born of the soil and the whirlwind,
Though death itself be the gale-
No foe shall gather our harvest
Or sit on our stockyard rail.

We are the sons of Australia,
of the men who fashioned the land;
We are the sons of the women
Who walked with them hand in hand;
And we swear by the dead who bore us,
By the heroes who blazed the trail,
No foe shall gather our harvest,
Or sit on our stockyard rail.

The Man from Snowy River
by - A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson

"The Bulletin" 26 April 1890

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from Old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses --- he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.

There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
The old man with his hair as white as snow;
But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up ---
He would go wherever horse and man could go.
And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
No better horseman ever held the reins;
For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand,
He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.

And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
He was something like a racehorse undersized,
With a touch of Timor pony --- three parts thoroughbred at least --
And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
He was hard and tough and wiry --- just the sort that won't say die ---
There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.

But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, "That horse will never do
For a long and tiring gallop --- lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you".
So he waited sad and wistful --- only Clancy stood his friend --
"I think we ought to let him come," he said;
"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred".

"He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen".

So he went --- they found the horses by the big mimosa clump ---
They raced away towards the mountain's brow,
And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the jump,
No use to try for fancy riding now.
And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.
Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,
For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,
If once they gain the shelter of those hills."

So Clancy rode to wheel them --- he was racing on the wing
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring
With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black
Resounded to the thunder of their tread,
And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back
From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.
And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way,
Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good day,
No man can hold them down the other side".

When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull,
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.

He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat ---
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
At the bottom of that terrible descent.

He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill,
And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.
Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
With the man from Snowy River at their heels.

And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
And alone and unassisted brought them back.
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
For never yet was mountain horse a cur.

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around the Overflow the reedbeds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word to-day,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.

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