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UK Enforcement: Former banknote company exec convicted of overseas bribery

A former manager of a polymer banknote manufacturer was convicted Wednesday in London of four counts of making corrupt payments to a foreign official.

Peter Chapman, 54, used to work for Innovia Securency PTY Ltd. He was convicted after a five week trial in the Southwark Crown Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

He bribed an agent of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC to win orders for reams of polymer substrate from Securency. Polymer substrate is used to make plastic banknotes.

The total value of the bribes was about $205,000, the SFO said.

SFO chief David Green said, “This has been a long, detailed investigation and a complex prosecution involving assistance from a wide range of jurisdictions.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Securency disclosed allegations of corruption to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in May 2009. The AFP shared the allegations with the UK Serious Fraud Office.

Securency was then jointly owned by the RBA and UK manufacturing firm Innovia Films Ltd.

Chapman was the manager of Innovia Securency’s Africa office.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport in April 2015 after his extradition from Brazil.

In late 2010, 80 SFO officials, plus officers in Surrey, Hampshire, Thames Valley, Cumbria, and the Metropolitan police services executed search warrants at eight residences and a business in the UK. There were two arrests.

At the same time, two search warrants were executed in Spain by authorities there in relation to three British nationals. Six search warrants were also executed on residences in Australia.

In March 2013, Innovia acquired all of Securency International and renamed the merged company Innovia Security Pty Ltd.

In the UK case, Chapman was charged in April 2015 with six offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. He was acquitted Wednesday on two counts.

Sentencing on the four counts other counts is scheduled for 10 am on Thursday (May 12) at the Southwark Crown Court.

In a posted statement, the SFO said Wednesday it had help overseas from the Australian Federal Police, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Central Authority of Nigeria, and authorities in Brazil, the Seychelles, South Africa, Canada, and Spain.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016.

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1 Comment

  1. An encouraging result: we are yet to see an outcome in the Australian cases… The delay is a serious concern.

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