CANBERRA: Three public servants working at the federal Department of Finance have been hauled into court, following a year-long investigation into an alleged conspiracy to defraud the Australian Government by directing IT contracts through preferred suppliers.
The Australian Federal Police arrested and charged the three men and they appeared in the Magistrates Court yesterday. They were bailed ahead of a hearing on July 9.
All three have been charged with “conspiracy to defraud the Australian Government while working for an Australian public services agency”, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years jail.
Gopalakrishnan Suryanarayanan Vilayur is charged with conspiracy to defraud and abuse of public office. Abdul Aziz EL-Debel is charged with conspiracy to defraud and abuse of public office; and Raminder Singh Kahlon has been charged with conspiracy to defraud.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said fraud is not a victimless crime and the AFP is committed to identifying and prosecuting those who misuse public money.
“This is a complex investigation, involving the analysis of a significant volume of information. This includes substantial information referred to the AFP by the Department of Finance, and investigators will continue to conduct financial inquiries to ensure we have a complete understanding of this matter,” McCartney said.