AFP drops investigation into Tabcorp bribery allegations

Elmer Funke Kupper, former CEO Tabcorp & Former CEO, ASX

The Australian Federal Police has dropped the investigation into foreign bribery allegations from wagering giant Tabcorp to the family of the Cambodian prime minister, saying it was not possible to obtain the evidence required for criminal prosecution. 

Tabcorp’s allegedly paid A$200,000 (US$137.4 million) to a consulting company connected to the sister of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a time when the company was examining ways to expand into Asian sports betting. 

The funds were allegedly channeled via the United States to Cambodia in early 2010, an act which has been under investigation from Australian and overseas anti-bribery agents since 2016. 

Elmer Funke Kupper, who was CEO of Tabcorp during the time of the funds transfer, resigned as head of the Australian securities exchange and stepped down from his directorship at Tabcorp. 

On Wednesday, the police said the decision brings to close the four-year-long investigation.

“In late 2012, the Australian Federal Police began an investigation into allegations of foreign bribery relating to an Australian company (Tabcorp) relating to alleged payments to Cambodian government officials in 2009 and 2010,” an AFP spokesman said.

“In 2019 the AFP conducted a review of this long and thorough investigation and found it is not possible to obtain the evidence required to support a criminal prosecution. The AFP now considers this matter finalized.”

Kupper said he was pleased that the matter has concluded and said he was looking forward to re-engaging with the business community at some stage.