Australia central bank subsidiary in Saddam link
SYDNEY (AFP) - A company owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) was on Monday accused of attempting to strike an illegal business deal with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein at the height of UN sanctions.
Secret files show that officials from the central bank's scandal-hit Note Printing Australia (NPA) went to Iraq to discuss a contract to turn the country's paper currency into polymer notes, according to a joint investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Fairfax Media.
During the 1998 trip, codenamed Delta Project, they allegedly met a middleman - Hussein's brother-in-law and bodyguard Arshad Yassin.
"Indications from Arshad Yassin's office are that Saddam Hussein's office has already allocated US$65 million (S$82 million) for the total project," RBA officials said in one document reported by the media groups.