Foreign bribery investigations into Cochlear, Oz Minerals re-commence

After reports on the weekend, the Australian Federal Police have confirmed that they are reopening old investigations into Oz Minerals and Cochlear regarding alleged bribery of foreign officials.

Fairfax papers reported yesterday that an investigation had been resumed regarding Cochlear, its Swiss subsidiary and a local distributor allegedly trying to influence a medical supplies tender in Portugal in 2004. Bribery allegedly involved family holidays to Disneyland and Italy.

''One ex-Cochlear employee was convicted and has appealed,” explained a Cochlear spokesperson quoted by The Age.

"We believe Cochlear Ltd would not have a case to answer as we understand the matter is outside the jurisdiction of the AFP."

Today The Australian Financial Review reports that the separate investigations into Cochlear and Oz Minerals have been confirmed.

“We can say the information is correct but we are not saying anything further,” an AFP spokesperson told The AFR.

Cochlear’s CFO Neville Michell told the Review that no contact had been made by the federal police, and would say nothing further.

An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report published last October criticised Australia’s “low” enforcement of its own foreign bribery laws.