Assets worth $7.8m frozen following investigation into federal public servants


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Federal authorities have restrained assets worth an estimated $7.8 million after three public servants allegedly conspired to influence IT contracts at their department.

The assets included seven houses, plus cars, and bank accounts, according to the Australian Federal Police.

“The [Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce] will allege the men conspired to direct information technology contracts through preferred suppliers, and then received financial benefits as a result of this activity, some of which was then used to purchase and renovate residential properties in Canberra,” they said on Wednesday.

Public servants Abdul El-Debel, Gopalakrishnan Vilayur, and Raminder Kahlon were charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth last month, with El-Debel and Vilayur also charged with abuse of public office.

Last month authorities issued seven search warrants in the Canberra suburbs of Griffith, Barton, Narrabundah, Amaroo, Palmerston, and Forrest.

An investigation was undertaken by AFP Northern Command’s Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team after the Department of Finance made a report to the AFP in July 2019.

The men are currently released on bail and will face a $25,000 fine if they communicate or connect to Finance’s IT system.


Read more: Federal public servants charged with conspiracy to defraud the government


 

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