An international investigation has led to the arrest of Keith Hunter, former general manger of information technology (IT) service management and operations at the Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA). Hunter pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery. Over USD$1.5 million in corrupt payments relating to the case have been frozen.
Hunter is alleged to have been involved with granting a publicly-listed US technology provider a lucrative contract without first putting it to public tender, in return for bribes. Detectives have estimated the value of the illegal payments at tens of millions of dollars. A second former CBA manager is also wanted for questioning as part of the ongoing investigation.
CBA alerted NSW Police earlier this year to a possible corrupt relationship between the two men and the technology provider. The Bank had conducted its own internal investigations into what is alleged to be suspicious payments made to two of its senior IT managers.
The NSW Police Fraud and Cybercrime Squad has congratulated CBA on coming forward with their suspicions, warning that any corruption in the business community would not be tolerated. The Squad’s Commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, noted that the offence of corrupt commissions carries a seven-year jail sentence.
A CBA spokesperson has confirmed the Bank’s zero tolerance policy for any illegal activity by its employees.
The World Economic Forum estimates that bribery and corruption increases the cost of doing business by up to 10%.
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