Media Statement: Foreign bribery cases

Release Date: Thursday, October 03 2013, 08:54 AM

The AFP works closely with its international and domestic counterparts to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery cases, which are inherently complex, transnational and protracted.

All countries face significant challenges in investigating and prosecuting foreign bribery cases. These matters are complex in nature, often requiring extensive overseas inquiries with foreign partner agencies. The collection of evidence, to the standard required by the Australian Courts, can also be subject to lengthy legal processes prior to progressing any criminal charges.

In relation to today’s Fairfax Media reports, the AFP is treating the Leightons case as a priority, and we are working to ensure that the matter is thoroughly investigated.

The AFP wants to see those committing white collar crimes called to account, and we have a number of investigations underway to ensure that this happens.

Organisationally, the AFP is committed to combating this crime type and in recent years, has devoted significant resources to improving its capacity to tackle foreign bribery offences.

Earlier this year, the AFP created dedicated Fraud and Anti-Corruption teams which work on foreign bribery offences.

In 2012, the AFP formed an internal Foreign Bribery Panel of Experts which is tasked with quality assuring all of the AFP’s foreign bribery investigations. The panel also liaises with partner agencies to ensure a comprehensive response to this crime type.

In May 2013, the AFP joined the new International Foreign Bribery Taskforce (IFBT). The taskforce is part of a new trans-border agreement which enables like-minded countries to work collaboratively to strengthen investigations into foreign bribery crimes, and support the OECD and UN anti-bribery conventions.

The taskforce has enhanced law enforcement’s response to foreign bribery on an international scale by providing a platform for police experts from Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to share knowledge, skills, methodologies and case studies.

Complementing these initiatives, the AFP will continue to liaise and collaborate with ASIC and its other partner agencies in Australia and overseas to pursue foreign bribery investigations.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333