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Oil-for-food scandal cost Australia first place in bribery index, analyst says

Oil-for-food scandal cost Australia first place in bribery index, analyst says

Allegations that Australia's main wheat exporter paid millions in illegal bribes to Saddam Hussein under the U.N. oil-for-food program have cost the country its ranking as the world's least corrupt country, an analyst said Thursday.
Australia slipped to number three behind top-ranked Switzerland and Sweden in a 2006 bribery survey conducted by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog, Transparency International. Australia had topped the so-called "Bribe Payers Index" when it was last issued in 2002.
Frank Costigan, the chairman of the group's Australian wing, said allegations that Australia's monopoly wheat export company, AWB Ltd., had knowingly paid US$222 million (