It was not long ago that Vijay Mallya, a flashy Indian businessman and a former member of parliament, was celebrating his 60th birthday in style in Goa where Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias had been flown in especially for the occasion.
Entries in Nazir Karigar (8)
Here's some non-U.S. news from the past year about anti-corruption enforcement against individuals:
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged two Americans and a U.K. national Wednesday with violating the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
An Ottawa judge sentenced a former security systems executive to three years in prison Friday, the first prison term for an individual convicted under Canada's anti-bribery law.
A Canadian man faces up to 14 years in prison after being the first individual convicted under Canada’s foreign anti-corruption law.
Why is Canada's anti-bribery enforcement moving at a crawl? Cyndee Todgham Cherniak says the answer may be found not in the similarities between U.S. and Canadian enforcement, but in the differences.
Last week Canadian authorities said they've charged Nazir Karigar, a Canadian citizen, with violating the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. He allegedly bribed an Indian official to win a contract for his company.
According to the Globe, Karigar worked for Cryptometrics of Ottawa. The company develops facial recognition software for airports and governments around the globe and its "engineers are accustomed to dealing with the security industry."
Is the security aspect of the case important? It could be.
Karigar is the first individual charged under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. He can't be the first Canadian involved in bribery abroad. Was he charged because his alleged crime compromised airport security in India, a country with security problems that concern the rest of the world?
The White House this year said overseas corruption is "a severe impediment to development and global security." We've reported that Kenyan airport and border security contracts were allegedly tainted by corruption. That led the U.S. to bar entry of some Kenyan officials and the U.K. did likewise. (President Obama went to Kenya in 2006 and talked about the sleaze there.)
The Australian federal police are investigating Securency, the polymer banknote-maker half owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The case has security implications. There have been persistent rumors that Securency paid bribes and offered favors to win currency-printing contracts in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The integrity of any country's printed money supply is a global concern.
An older U.S. case with security-related loose ends involves American Bank Note Holographics. It prints currencies, travelers and other checks, and produces credit cards and holograms for use on security-sensitive surfaces. In July 2001, Joshua Cantor, the company's president, pleaded guilty to a four-count federal criminal information. It charged him with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., a books-and-records violation, making false statements to auditors, and conspiracy to violate the FCPA. The charges arose from bribes paid on behalf of American Bank Note in Saudi Arabia. Then in August 2003, Morris Weissman, the former CEO and chairman of the company, was convicted of fraud after a long trial in Manhattan.
Neither Cantor nor Weissman have been sentenced yet, despite a nine-year-old guilty plea and a seven-year-old jury-trial conviction. Is it because of their knowledge of the security-related industry? Have they been helping American and other authorities track down corruption that might make borders leaky and put currencies at risk?
There may not be any visible links among Cantor and Weissman, Securency, Kenyan graft, and Nazir Karigar. But there's a common thread of global security running through them.
The Canadian government appears to have jointed the World Cup of overseas antibribery enforcement. In May, authorities arrested a Canadian citizen in Ottawa under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
Nazir Karigar, 63, was charged with one count of corruption. His company, a Canadian firm, allegedly bribed an Indian government official to win a multi-million dollar contract for the supply of a security system.
The Canadian government said its investigation of Karigar began in June 2007 when it was tipped about the alleged graft.
Canada ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2007. In April 2008, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Crime Branch set up teams to investigate international corruption cases. The Ottawa-based team focuses on "allegations of international corruption in accordance with the Criminal Code and the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA)," according to its press materials.
The RCMP said it would provide no further information about the case against Nazir Karigar. He was arraigned this week in Ottawa and will appear in court again on July 28.
This is apparently only the second Canadian prosecution of overseas bribery and the first against an individual. In 2005, Hydro Kleen pleaded guilty to bribing U.S. immigration officials and paid a $25,000 fine.
The Canadian government said it won't release the name of the Indian government official allegedly involved in the Karigar case or how much money was supposedly paid in bribes.
Download a copy of the RCMP release about Nazir Karigar here.