AFP reopens OZ Minerals, Cochlear bribery cases

THE Australian Federal Police will reopen investigations into claims that OZ Minerals Ltd and Cochlear Ltd illegally bribed foreign officials, Fairfax Media reports.

According to the media outlet, the decision to "re-evaluate" the two investigations comes after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development criticised Australia's "extremely low" enforcement of anti-foreign-bribery laws in a report published last October.

The report found that Australian businesses were highly vulnerable to foreign corruption and that law enforcement agencies had closed investigations prematurely due to a lack resources and experience.

In 2011 The Cambodia Daily alleged that OZ Minerals bribed three women on the board of its partner Shin Ha with more than $US1 million when it bought the company in 2009. It alleged the women were closely related to Cambodian officials.

The OECD report found that the AFP "...did not inquire into key matters that could have corroborated the allegations [against Oz Minerals], such as whether the board members were indeed related to foreign public officials; the due diligence conducted by the company was sound; and the buyout proceeds were channelled to the board members.''

Read more at Business Spectator.

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