Australia Australian businessman charged with conspiring to bribe Nauruan officials

12:26  14 september  2018
12:26  14 september  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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Businessman Mozammil Gulamabbas Bhojani.© Provided by ABC News Businessman Mozammil Gulamabbas Bhojani.

A self-professed international trade executive and entrepreneur with extensive business interests in Nauru has been charged with conspiring to bribe officials in the island nation's government, 7.30 can reveal.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) on Thursday charged Mozammil Gulamabbas Bhojani with one count of conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official under Australia's criminal code.

He faces a maximum 10 years in jail if convicted.

The AFP alleges that Sydney-based Mr Bhojani provided the Nauruan officials with more than $100,000 in kickbacks in exchange for favourable phosphate shipments for his company, Radiance International Pty Ltd.

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Mr Bhojani is a director of Radiance International Pty Ltd and a global group of related companies, which specialise in trading rock phosphate.

According to court documents, he operates a multinational business with a network of international contacts.

Mr Bhojani has been under investigation by a Brisbane-based AFP team specialising in foreign bribery since 2015, as part of Operation Regatta.

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The AFP alleges that between January 2015 and 2018, Mr Bhojani conspired to bribe the two officials with at least five payments totalling more than $100,000.

A separate bribe was allegedly paid by Mr Bhojani in order to secure a contract to supply diesel to the island.

The AFP executed search warrants at Mr Bhojani's Sydney home and office on Thursday, seizing computers and documents from the building.

Mr Bhojani appeared in court on Friday morning and was granted bail. The bail order was made by consent between his lawyers and prosecutors.

Mr Bhojani appears to have extensive business interests on Nauru. Radiance International's website even boasts that the company has forged "a very good business relationship with the Government of Nauru".

Court documents also stated he has access to large quantities of cash.

Mr Bhojani is due to appear in court again in November.

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