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How to steal billions

From 2009 to at least 2013, private individuals were allegedly able to siphon off more than $3.5 billion from the wealth fund of Malaysia and go on a high-end luxury shopping spree in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland for property, museum-quality art and a private jet. Gatekeepers such as […]

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Three reasons why attacking Egypt’s top auditor is bad news

Putting Egypt’s top auditor on trial sends a clear message: the Egyptian government is waging a war. Not against corruption but against those who fight against it. When President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi came to power in 2013, he made fighting corruption a top priority; “There should be full trust in the monitoring bodies and their […]

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Let’s celebrate whistleblowers

Four medical doctors received Transparency International Sweden’s Whistleblower of the Year (“Årets Visselpipa”) award earlier this month for speaking up against the gross ethical misconduct of a celebrated surgeon whose organ transplants turned out to be fatal. Whistleblowers provide a great service to society. The case of the Swedish doctors is a good example of […]

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SPEAK UP, South Africa: the impact of the Nkandla ruling

In March this year South Africa’s highest court upheld a landmark investigation by the courageous Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that showed how taxpayers’ money had been used to upgrade President Jacob Zuma’s personal residence. This underscored the importance of the role of the Public Protector in holding those in power to account. It is the […]

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Secret company ownership: a global solution for a global challenge

The way the rich and powerful hide their ill-gotten gains is headline news around the world today. The Panama Papers show everyone how easy it is to set up secret companies that let people avoid taxes and launder money. Kings do it, business tycoons do it, footballers do it, presidents and prime ministers do it.  […]

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Why open data can stop corruption

There has been a big push in recent years to make government data open so citizens know where their tax money is spent– from snow collection in Chicago and broken street lights in Tbilisi, to what public officials declare about their assets in Mexico and their lobbying meetings with companies in the EU. While data […]

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A new win for Ukraine in fighting corruption

On 15 March 2016, 278 Ukrainian MPs voted to approve a new e-declarations law called No.3755. The law will oblige public servants, politicians, managers of state and communal enterprises, and other employees who are paid from state budget such as doctors and teachers, to declare their full income and assets. It also requires them to […]

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Maldives: islands lost in corruption

The Maldives is an archipelago made up of more than 1000 islands, with a population of about 351,000 people. Most of the islands are uninhabited; 187 are home to people and 106 are designed as beach resorts for the well-heeled traveller. Grand corruption emerged as the biggest problem in the country when a massive scandal […]

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Haiti: trying to stay engaged amid corruption and poverty

It is hard to imagine that Haitians will actually go to polls on 27 December to vote in the second round of the presidential and municipal elections. There has been so much talk of electoral fraud, violence and intimidation from the first round in October, ordinary people just don’t know what to believe. On 17 […]

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Football on trial

Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans always win, or so said Gary Lineker, the popular TV commentator and former England international. He was wrong. Football, in fact, is a system that benefits a small group of people by exploring the passion and […]

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