ASIC ramps up Queensland Nickel investigation
THE corporate watchdog has called in more government agencies into its investigation of the collapse of Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel, as a range of matters are considered including potential criminal charges.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission boss John Price last night revealed that the long running investigation into the company's 2016 collapse was well progressed.
ASIC has been probing political donations, use of aliases, shadow directors and conflicts of interest related to QN.
Mr Price last night said criminal charges were "on the table", but did not say who any allegations could relate to.
"We are in discussion at the moment with certain other government agencies to advise us on how best to go forward in relation to what is the best case to make in relation to these matters," he told a Senate estimates committee last night.
"All options are on the table in respect to these matters and that includes criminal (charges)."
Mr Price said he was unable to say which government agencies had been brought on board.
But he said some of the matters these agencies were being consulted on related to possible alleged offences by Mr Palmer's nephew, Clive Mensink, who was director of QN at the time it entered administration.
"All options are on the table," Mr Price said.
Asked by Queensland Labor Senator Chris Ketter if Mr Palmer or Mr Mensink had been interview by ASIC, Mr Price declined to comment.
He also declined to say if further progress had been made in attempts to extradite Mr Mensink, who is in Bulgaria while wanted on two warrants to face questions in court related to QN.
Mr Price told Senate estimates in October 2018 that if they had an interest in a person in an overseas jurisdiction "you can assume we are in communication with the relevant authorities there".
It is understood that pursuing extradition would only become an option if Mr Mensink were to be charged with a serious criminal offence that attracts a jail sentence of two or more years.
Mr Palmer's company Queensland Nickel went into liquidation in 2016, owing its 800 workers more than $70 million in unpaid entitlements. According to court documents, other corporate creditors are still chasing more than $141 million in outstanding payments.
Mr Palmer has continually denied he owes any money to staff or creditors and is fighting a mammoth legal battle with liquidators in the Supreme Court.