26 September 2023

Police release crime number three

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has entered the second season of its award-winning ‘Crime Interrupted’ podcast with Episode Three: Operation Blare taking listeners behind the scenes of how AFP intelligence helped crack open an international bribery investigation.

The Police are having six episodes of its ‘Crime Interrupted’ series showcasing counter terrorism, child care fraud, cybercrime operations and more.

Episode Three details an AFP investigation into the directors of the Australian construction company Lifese Pty Ltd for foreign bribery offences.

AFP said its investigation began after AFP investigators detected a suspicious US $1 million transfer to Iraq, intended as a payment to a foreign public official in return for preferential treatment during a tender process.

In 2015, three men were charged with conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official and in 2017, all three were convicted by the NSW Supreme Court of conspiracy to bribe an Iraqi official.

AFP Financial Investigations Manager, Martin Fryer said Operation Blare was a unique opportunity to look at a bribery conspiracy as it was about to take place.

“Most foreign bribery happens behind closed doors. With this investigation, we were not only through that door, we actually had people in that room listening to the conversations live,” Mr Fryer said.

“It was a very good pickup by our intelligence teams,” he said.

“It has a huge flow on effect and not a lot of people realise the actual impact…on everyday populations in those regions, because often they’re the ones that can least afford it.”

Three men were initially sentenced to a maximum term of four years’ jail in 2017, with two of the men also fined $250,000 each for their role in the scheme. Two of those sentences were reduced on appeal to a maximum term of three years and four months.

The full story of Operation Blare in the second season of Crime Interrupted, is now available to listen for free on all podcast streaming services.

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