Paul Thompson, an Australian man who worked as a trader at Rabobank’s Singapore office from 2006 to 2011, has been arrested and charged with allegedly rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). Libor is the benchmark used to set the rate on trillions of interest-rate products around the world. Thompson, the former head of the Dutch bank’s money market and derivatives trading for north-east Asia, was one of seven Rabobank traders indicted by a grand jury in the US for allegedly conspiring to manipulate Libor. He was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers in Perth on 22 October 2015 following an extradition request by the US Department of Justice.

The charges against the traders stem from a global investigation into the manipulation of Libor by banks. Thompson is the first Australian to have been arrested, while other traders are already on trial in New York. US prosecutors allege that ‘the conduct of the conspirators caused financial institutions to be susceptible to substantial risk of loss and to suffer actual loss’. Thompson, who was granted bail on 28 October 2015, is yet to formally declare whether he will contest or consent to extradition.


Australian-Chinese businesswoman Sheri Yan and her finance chief Heidi Park were arrested by New York authorities on 6 October 2015 for allegedly bribing former president of the UN General Assembly John Ashe, who was also arrested. US prosecutors allege that Yan and Park arranged for Ashe to be paid US$200,000 (in addition to US$300,000 in travel expenses) to appear, in his official UN capacity, at a meeting at billionaire businessman Dr Chau Chak Wing’s resort in November 2013. It is alleged that Yan made monthly payments to Ashe under the guise of a non-governmental organisation she headed, known as the Global Sustainability Foundation.