SYDNEY • Malaysia has not responded to requests for information from Australia regarding alleged corruption involving two Australian companies over the printing of Malaysian polymer bank notes, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) said yesterday.
The daily claimed that senior Australian officials are aware of intelligence that implicates people in the offices of Prime Minister Najib Razak and former premier Abdullah Badawi in the alleged corruption case. It did not say when Canberra had asked Putrajaya for the information.
SMH said the Malaysian middlemen are implicated in the bribery scandal, which is part of an ongoing prosecution of several Australian businessmen who worked for two companies controlled by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The companies are Securency and Note Printing Australia.
The scandal, the paper said, involves allegations that Malaysian officials were to be paid off in return for Securency and Note Printing winning contracts to turn Malaysia's currency from paper notes to polymer between the late 1990s and 2009.
SMH said Malaysia ignored a formal mutual assistance request to hand over sensitive information about the financial dealings of a group of Malaysian middlemen.
In 2011, the Australian police charged Securency, Note Printing and several of their former senior managers with bribing officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005.