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US SEC paid US$3.75m to BHP Billiton whistleblower: report

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission paid a BHP Billiton insider US$3.75 million for detailed information in an investigation into alleged bribery of Asian and African officials, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.

[MELBOURNE] The US Securities and Exchange Commission paid a BHP Billiton insider US$3.75 million for detailed information in an investigation into alleged bribery of Asian and African officials, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.

Citing legal sources, the newspaper report said it was the first time an employee of an Australian company had received a US whistleblower bounty.

BHP last year settled the SEC case, paying US$25 million to resolve charges it violated a US anti-bribery law by failing to properly monitor a programme in which it paid for dozens of foreign government officials to attend the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The Australian Financial Review said it did not spell out the evidence that the whistleblower disclosed because it wanted to protect the person's identity.

The world's biggest miner remains under investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

REUTERS