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Defendant In Auckland Council Bribery Case Gets Home Detention

A former Auckland Council employee has been sentenced to five and a half months’ home detention for corrupting a council procurement process for financial gain.

Sundeep Dilip Rasila (42) was sentenced today in the Auckland High Court while his co-defendant, businessman Sunil Chand (56), has had his sentencing delayed to resolve a factual issue.

Mr Rasila had previously pleaded guilty to corruptly accepting a kickback as a council employee, while Mr Chand admitted paying the bribe in return for his company being awarded a $140,150 Auckland Council contract. The charges were brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Mr Rasila accepted a $7,500 kickback in August 2018 for arranging for Mr Chand’s business, On Time Print, to secure a contract for supply of 22,000 Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices to the council. As a result of being awarded the contract, On Time Print made a profit of approximately $58,000. The investigation by the SFO found this to be the only instance of a kickback being received by Mr Rasila during his employment at Auckland Council.

The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Corruption in the public sector diverts public funds from those who most need the support of public services. For this reason, public sector corruption is a high priority for the SFO. As a council employee, Mr Rasila was required to disclose the nature of his relationship with Mr Chand and his business, but he never did this. Mr Rasila’s actions were deceitful, corrupt and criminal, and run 

Background information

Sunil Chand (56) gave Sundeep Dilip Rasila (42) a $7,500 bribe in return for Mr Chand’s company, On Time Print, being awarded an Auckland Council contract valued at $140,150 (excluding GST). The contract was for the supply of 22,000 USBs of various sizes.

Crimes Act offences

105 Corruption and bribery of official

(1) Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or herself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him or her in his or her official capacity.

(2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly gives or offers or agrees to give any bribe to any person with intent to influence any official in respect of any act or omission by him or her in his or her official capacity.

Secret Commissions Act offences

3 Gifts to agent without consent of principal an offence

(1) Every person is guilty of an offence who corruptly gives, or agrees or offers to give, to any agent any gift or other consideration as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do, any act in relation to the principal’s affairs or business (whether such act is within the scope of the agent’s authority or the course of his employment as agent or not), or for showing or having shown favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the principal’s affairs or business.

(2) Any gift or other consideration given or offered or agreed to be given to any parent, husband, wife, civil union partner, de facto partner, or child of any agent, or to his partner, clerk, or servant, or (at the agent’s request or suggestion) to any other person, shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have been given or offered or agreed to be given to the agent.

About the SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act.

The SFO is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption.

The presence of an agency dedicated to white collar crime is integral to New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity, fair-mindedness and low levels of corruption.

This work contributes to a productive and prosperous New Zealand and the SFO’s collaborative efforts with international partners also reduce the serious harm that corrupt business practices do to the global economy.

The SFO has two operational teams: the Evaluation and Intelligence team and the Investigations team.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”

Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”

In considering whether a matter involves serious or complex fraud, the Director may, among other things, have regard to:

  • the suspected nature and consequences of the fraud and/or;
  • the suspected scale of the fraud and/or;
  • the legal, factual and evidential complexity of the matter and/or;
  • any relevant public interest considerations.

The SFO’s Annual Report 2019 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Integrated Statement of Strategic Intent 2016-2020 sets out the SFO’s strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at www.sfo.govt.nz

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