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Why are three of the world’s richest countries doing so little to stop corruption?

One of the best-known data points in the anti-corruption field is the estimate from Global Financial Integrity that US$ 1.1 trillion in proceeds of corruption, crime and tax evasion are taken from developing countries every year and invested in Western banks, real estate, and luxury goods.  The volume of illicit financial flows is higher than […]

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Benin’s fight against corruption is only beginning

The Republic of Benin is one of West Africa’s most stable countries. Sandwiched between Nigeria and Togo to the east and west, with Niger and Burkino Faso to the north, Benin has a population of about 10 million, 40 per cent of which lives below the poverty line. It gained independence from France in 1960 […]

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What are the candidates hiding?

A September 21 Gallup survey concluded that, “At no point in the last four decades have Americans expressed less trust than they do today in US political leaders or in the American people who voted those leaders into office.” Indeed, only 42 per cent of Americans trust their political leaders and just 56 per cent […]

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Does Ukraine merit a new handout?

Yesterday the International Monetary Fund approved a further bailout of more than US$1 billion for Ukraine, a country trying to deal with an aggressive eastern neighbour and a ruling elite compromised by corruption. If the decision to resume payments was based on the normal loan conditions, the outcome would have been an obvious no. Ukrainian […]

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McDonnell walks. Reforms needed

The Justice Department on September 8 announced that it is dropping its corruption case against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court decided to throw out McDonnell’s conviction on the grounds that jurors had been provided an erroneous definition of “official act.” The Court’s unanimous decision […]

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Playing with numbers won’t cure Egypt’s corruption

“There is corruption in local government,” admitted President Abdel Fattah el Sisi at a presidential youth forum in Cairo in early August. “But, what can we do?” he laughed. “Sack and jail Hisham Geneina” was one sarcastic suggestion on Twitter. Geneina was the head of Egypt’s top auditing body until earlier this year when he […]

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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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US Department of Treasury

U.S. response to the Panama Papers: A step in the right direction but more action is needed

The massive leak dubbed the Panama Papers has given the UK Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12 an unexpected boost. Those coming to the summit, now including the U.S., are lining up to make announcements about the steps they are taking to tackle corruption and specifically financial secrecy. On Thursday the Obama Administration announced a series […]

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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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