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O.P. « 2019-Sep-13, 09:59 AM »
AFP drops bribery probe into Tabcorp's Cambodian payment
Nick Toscano
By Nick Toscano
September 11, 2019 11.53am

The Australian Federal Police has dropped a foreign bribery investigation into a $200,000 payment from the nation's biggest gambling company, Tabcorp, to the family of the Cambodian prime minister, saying it was not possible to obtain the evidence required for a criminal prosecution.

Police on Wednesday said the decision brings to a close the force's long-running inquiries into the transaction allegedly made as part of Tabcorp's since-abandoned effort to secure an online gaming licence in the south-east Asian nation in 2010.

"In late 2012, the Australian Federal Police began an investigation into allegations of foreign bribery relating to an Australian company (Tabcorp) relating to alleged payments to Cambodian government officials in 2009 and 2010," an AFP spokesman said.

"In 2019 the AFP conducted a review of this long and thorough investigation and found it is not possible to obtain the evidence required to support a criminal prosecution. The AFP now considers this matter finalised."

Former ASX chief executive Elmer Funke Kupper, who was the head of Tabcorp at the time of the payment, stood down from the ASX and ultimately resigned his directorship of Tabcorp amid the police probe.

Mr Funke Kupper on Wednesday said: "I am pleased the matter has concluded and look forward to re-engaging with the business community at some stage."

Tabcorp has co-operated with the AFP throughout the investigation and welcomes the conclusion of this matter.

Tabcorp statement
He declined to comment on the matter and the police investigation, except to say he had "no issues with the process".

The ASX-listed Tabcorp, the country's biggest gambling provider, runs lotteries, digital betting services and holds exclusive retail betting licences in every state and territory except Western Australia.

In a statement to the stock market on Wednesday, the company said it had been notified that the AFP was closing its investigation and was not intending to take action.

"Tabcorp has co-operated with the AFP throughout the investigation and welcomes the conclusion of this matter," the company said.

As first reported by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, anti-bribery authorities in Australia and overseas in 2012 began investigating the payment of $200,000 and allegations it was paid to a consulting company connected to a sister of Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than 30 years.

The $200,000 was channelled via the United States to Cambodia in 2010 when Mr Funke Kupper and a team of executives and advisers at Tabcorp were said to be examining a potential expansion into Asian sports betting in the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The revelations prompted the AFP investigation into whether the payment breached bribery laws. Australian and US laws make it illegal to give a benefit to a foreign official or their representative in order to obtain a business advantage.


Tabcorp's share price closed unchanged at $4.77.

ENDS

Fortuitous ending seeing the AFP couldn't establish sufficient evidence of a crime .......although the article states the payment was made ...bet they didn't get the $200K back .......hardly a ringing endorsement of business practices although bribery a way of life in third world countries......over here it's lobbying and usually not unlawful  this one ends with a Nolle Prosequi.

Giddy Up :beer:


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