Soludo personally met Securency executives Hugh Brown and Peter Chapman in London
New information on the polymer note scandal involving Soludo, other Nigeria officials and the Australian company Securency indicates that the former CBN Governor Chukwuma Soludo “personally met with Securency executives” to negotiate the Naira Polymer Contract that led to a bribe deal.
Elombah.com have it from very good sources inside Securency that Soludo personally met Securency executives Hugh Brown and Peter Chapman in London on several occasions and also at his villa in Abuja to discuss the polymer deal. This demolishes his claim that he was not involved in any way with the Polymer contract.
Our sources say “he was so paranoid about security services finding out about his arrangement with Securency that he preferred to meet the company’s executives in the UK or if he had to meet them in Nigeria, it was always at 3 AM at his house so as to minimise detection”.
According to our source; “We are always very confident in the information we are giving”.
Elombah.com had revealed that One Mr.A.B.Okauro, the former head of National Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) and currently the Director –General of Governors Forum played the middle man and intermediary between Soludo and British businessman Benoy Berry.
Other Nigerian politicians and officials were also involved in the deal between Berry and Soludo. But Okauro was reported to have personally opened and ensured the safe egress of billion of naira of corrupt money out of Nigeria and was reported to have acted as go-between for Dr. Berry and Soludo’s CBN.
A knowledgeable source has revealed to Elombah.com that the former CBN governor was named as one of the officials that received bribes allegedly paid to Nigerian officials in order to secure contracts for the printing of polymer naira notes.
Elombah.com had carried a report that a Reserve Bank of Australia company is under federal police investigation for allegedly bribing Nigerian officials to win a banknote deal in the most serious development yet in the cash-for-contracts scandal.
The probe centres on a series of multimillion-dollar payments by the RBA firm Securency to offshore accounts of two British-based businessmen, BenoyBerry and Mike Harding, who boast high-level political contacts in Britain and Africa.
The firm, Securency, was found to have made a series of multimillion-dollar payments into offshore bank accounts of two British-based businessmen linked to the currency printing deal.
According to a source, his efforts to get more information from our source inside the Central Bank of Nigeria was abortive because according to the contact, ‘since the story broke when the current CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi was away in Turkey, attending banking conference, Soludo and his group used inside CBN contacts to “shred” the evidence’ to cover their deeds.
Another source had earlier said that The Australia Federal Police Authority early this year sent a high level confidential security memo to the Presidency through the Office of the National Security adviser detailing bribery probe that centers on the series of multimillion-dollar payments by RBA firm Securency into offshore bank accounts of two British-based businessmen for onward transfer to Nigerian Government Officials to win the bank-note deal.
Prominent amongst the names that featured in the secret memo is that of then CBN Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, senior officials of thefinance ministry and a former president.
Meanwhile The Australian Newspaper, The Age reports more scandal involving Securency. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s banknote firm paid multi-million-dollar commissions to a senior Vietnamese official in an apparent breach of federal bribery laws that carry a 10-year jail sentence.
The Age says, Anh Ngoc Luong received more than $5 million in so-called ”commission” payments from RBA firm Securency.
Senior Australian Government sources said Mr Luong and his company, CFTD, worked for Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, one of the communist-run country’s premier security and intelligence agencies.
One of Mr Luong’s partners in CFTD serves in Vietnam’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations.The payments to Mr Luong and CFTD from Securency are believed to total more than $12 million, some of which was sent to secretive offshore bank accounts in Switzerland.
The Commonwealth Criminal Code forbids Australian companies paying foreign officials or government-controlled firms to gain a business advantage.Securency hired Mr Luong because of his high-level government connections, and he has been Securency’s man on the ground and chief government liaison in Vietnam for several years.
According to the The Age, Since 2002, Mr Luong has played a major role in a deal in which Vietnam switched its currency from paper-based banknotes to those made with Securency’s patented polymer formula.The Australian Federal Police has been investigating Securency, which is half-owned by the RBA, for five months over allegations that it breached foreign bribery laws.
If it can be proven that Securency executives knew or should have known that Mr Luong and his company worked on behalf of the Vietnamese Government, they may face criminal charges.
The revelation of the payments to Mr Luong also raise questions about the conduct of the RBA, whose officials sit on the Securency board and oversee its activities, as well as the conduct of the Australian agencies that work closely with Securency across the globe.Senior Liberal MP Philip Ruddock said the nation had been put on notice by the inquiry into the Australian Wheat Board bribery scandal in Iraq – which he set up as attorney-general – that payments to foreign officials were illegal.‘
‘After the AWB issues, I would have thought all agencies would be very circumspect of all the activities they are undertaking overseas and make very sure they do not breach Australia’s bribery laws … if it [Securency’s conduct] did constitute bribery, it would be a very significant issue,” he said.”We would not expect our officials to moonlight and receive payments from other governments.”
The Age quotes Australia’s former ambassador to Vietnam, Richard Broinowski, as saying the Securency scandal raised serious questions for the Rudd Government.
”I would have to ask how far the knowledge of this case extends into the senior management of the Reserve Bank, Treasury and therefore into Canberra … into DFAT [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade],” Mr Broinowski said.”Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security is indeed a pretty odious agency, and if they are receiving funding it shows absolutely no moral scruples on the part of this Reserve Bank company.”
Several well-placed Australian Government sources said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had long believed Mr Luong to be a government official and his firm an arm of the Public Security Ministry. One senior source said CFTD’s government connections were ”common knowledge” among Australian embassy officials in Vietnam.
A Securency source said senior company officials had privately claimed that Mr Luong was a senior security official.
Mr Luong is also listed as a director of CFTD’s Australian operations, based in Frankston, Melbourne. A second director and shareholder of CFTD’s Australian firm is Vietnam’s attache to the United Nations and World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Thuong Minh Do.Securency and the RBA have refused to explain why the payments to Mr Luong and CFTD were so high and sent to offshore accounts, saying it was inappropriate to comment during a police inquiry.
In 2007, when Securency executives were quizzed by an overseas reporter about why their firm was working with CFTD, they stressed the Hanoi company’s role was limited mostly to the translation of documents, arranging meetings and airport pick-ups.
”A lot of the [CFTD’s] roles in the early stages were to do with interpreting and translating … so that is the primary role they play. So it is the liaison between the state bank,” Securency managing director Myles Curtis said in the 2007 interview.