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Showing posts from 2014

Hong Kong graft scandal 'sends message' about rule of law

The sentencing of former Hong Kong chief secretary Rafael Hui to seven and a half years' imprisonment for corruption sent a strong message that rule of law in the former British colony is still intact, analysts said. Hui, 66, was sentenced by a Hong Kong court alongside property tycoon Thomas Kwok, 65, who received a five-year jail term. The trial has shocked Hong Kong, which scores highly on international measures of clean and transparent government, sparking renewed fears of behind-the-scenes links between government and corporate interests.

Read the full story by Wong Lok-to, Yang Fan, and Luisetta Mudie, in Radio Free Asia. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/rafael-hui-sentenced-12242014131657.html

Cambodian anti-graft agency to police public tenders

Corruption watchdogs called on the Cambodian government to stamp out corrupt practices within the public procurement process during the first public forum on the Kingdom’s Budget Law. Cambodia passed its Public Procurement Law in 2012 after numerous calls from both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to design comprehensive guidelines to manage public spending and eradicate loopholes in the process.

Read the story by Chan Muyhong, in The Phnom Penh Post. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/acu-police-public-tender-process

Survey shows Cambodians increasingly concerned about country's direction

A nationwide survey by The Asia Foundation finds that a majority (59 percent) of respondents believes Cambodia is going the wrong way. Conducted between May 19 and June 9, and titled Democracy in Cambodia - 2014: A Survey of the Cambodian Electorate, the public opinion poll cites corruption (19 percent), deforestation, and economic issues (26 percent) as the main reasons for the increase in pessimism.

Read the story in Deutsche Welle. http://www.dw.de/survey-shows-cambodians-increasingly-concerned-about-countrys-direction/a-18125299

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (30 Dec 2014)

Today's top story Russia: Aleksei Navalny, critic of Putin, is given suspended sentence in fraud case
New York Times
A Moscow court on Tuesday convicted the anticorruption crusader and political opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny of criminal fraud charges and handed down a three-and-half-year suspended sentence. The Moscow police braced for a confrontation with thousands of people planning to protest the verdict outside the Kremlin.

More news Global: Beijing looks at U.S. deal to recover dirty assets: China Daily
Reuters
Brazil: Petrobras finds itself in deep water
Financial Times
Egypt: Egypt probes corruption in state bidding process
Ahram Online
Thailand: Bangkok rocked by police football corruption charges
SBC
Turkey: Turkey's top judicial body suspends graft probe prosecutors: media
Reuters
UK: Thatcher was warned U.K.’s ‘Big Bang’ plan might increase fraud
Bloomberg

The Ethical Alliance Daily (30 Dec 2014)

Malaysian anti-graft NGO wants harsher penalties for white collar crimes

The Malaysian government should immediately amend relevant laws to tackle white-collar crimes such as graft by imposing harsher punishments, said Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar. Akhbar, in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's proposal for heavier penalties to givers and takers of bribes, said white collar crimes are more brutal than violent crimes because actions of one or few corrupt individuals can affect the livelihood of thousands.

Read the story in The Malaysian Insider. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/anti-graft-ngo-wants-harsher-penalties-for-white-collar-crimes

Among G20 nations, India at bottom in maternal care due to bribes - news story

According to a news story in Today Online, "petty fees extracted from poor women seeking maternity care [in India] are especially pernicious... [extending] from hospital staff, who demand money to change bandages, to elected officials and top bureaucrats responsible for fixing up the state hospitals." Citing UN figures, the news story goes on to say that "for every 100,000 live births in India, 190 women die, ranking the country...at the bottom of the Group of 20 nations".

Read the story in Today Online. http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/india/bribes-buy-india-worst-maternal-care-among-g20-nations

Seven more bankers face interrogation by Bangladesh anti-corruption agency

Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission grilled seven high officials of Mercantile Bank in connection with an inquiry over a Tk1,300 crore loan scam of Ananda Shipyard. AnandaShipyard secured Tk1,300 crore loan from 14 banks and financial institutions between 2010 and 2013 without depositing proper security money in line with bank rules in the name of exporting ships, the allegations say. It also did not experience ship exporting during that time.

Read the story by Adil Sakhawat, in Dhaka Tribune. http://www.dhakatribune.com/crime/2014/dec/23/seven-more-bankers-face-acc-interrogation

Op-ed: Is New Zealand becoming more corrupt?

"New Zealand has been knocked off its perch as the least corrupt country on earth, slipping to number two on the just-announced Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. So does this mean we're becoming more corrupt?

"And, with so many corruption stories and allegations in the media and politics over the last year, shouldn't we have expected our ranking to drop further than just one place? Why hasn't Dirty Politics translated into an international 'telling off' for New Zealand?"

Read the op-ed by Bryce Edwards, member of the Board of Directors of Transparency International New Zealand, in The New Zealand Herald. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11368274

Pakistan warns Australian banking change will aid terrorists

Pakistan is worried the shutdown of all the accounts of international money transfer agents by Australian banks will make it harder to stop funds being sent to terrorists. Pakistan High Commissioner Naela Chohan said completely shutting down the accounts may actually make it harder for them to check if money is going to terrorists and argued the banks' approach contravenes agreements by the global Financial Action Taskforce and the G20.

Read the story in Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/pakistan-warns-banking-change-will-aid-terrorists-20141222-12cgi1.html

Philippine govt says anti-money laundering ranking outdated

The Philippine government brushed off as outdated a Global Financial Integrity study that placed the Philippines as the 15th largest exporter of illegal capital in the developing world, saying the country has improved in its efforts to curb money laundering. "There has been a number of positive movements and I am certain that ranking is dated already since it covered only the periods of 2003 to 2012," said a spokesperson for President Benigno Aquino.

Read the story by Buena Bernal in Rappler. http://www.rappler.com/nation/78337-convictions-expanded-anti-money-laundering-law

COMMENTARY: How to Improve Foreign Bribery Enforcement in Korea

"South Korea was one of the first signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1997, and in 1998 Korea enacted legislation – the Act on Preventing Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Korean FBPA) – to implement the convention domestically. Yet while the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FPCA), which served as a model for the Korean FBPA, has been actively enforced throughout the world, the Korean FBPA is significantly under-enforced, especially against corporate offenders."

Read the post by Jeena Kim, a lawyer with Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (Seoul), in the Global Anticorruption Blog. http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/12/23/how-to-improve-foreign-bribery-enforcement-in-korea/

Govt support likely for regional expansion of Indonesia anti-corruption agency

Anti-graft activists have expressed their support for the Corruption Eradication Commission’s plan to establish branches in several cities across Indonesia, saying these additional offices would help KPK’s headquarters in Jakarta handle the illegal dealings of regional officials. As of February 2014, of the 524 regional chiefs serving across the country, 318 have allegedly committed some form of corruption, according to the Home Affairs Ministry.

Read the story by Kennial Caroline Laia, in The Jakarta Globe. http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/govt-will-support-kpk-local-offices-cabinet-secretary/

The Ethical Alliance Daily (24 Dec 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Arms Trade Treaty Comes into Effect (24 Dec 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Arms Trade Treaty Comes into Effect (24 Dec 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld.http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/12/24/corruption-currents-arms-trade-treaty-comes-into-effect/

Calls for swift introduction of Whistle-Blower Protection Law in Cambodia

A Cambodian government plan to introduce long-awaited legislation that will protect whistle-blowers in corruption cases was lauded by members of the opposition and civil society, who expressed hope that the law would come into force swiftly. Om Yentieng, chair of the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), told reporters that the body would draft a new law on the protection of whistle-blowers and witnesses in graft cases.

Read the story by Ouch Sony and Holly Robertson in The Cambodia Daily.https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/calls-for-swift-introduction-of-whistle-blower-protection-law-73262/

Media freedom needed to fight corruption, says Iranian VP Ebtekar

Corruption thrives in the absence of free media, according to Masoumeh Ebtekar, the first female vice president of Iran, who has called on the Iranian and Turkish governments to work together against corruption. “One of the major strategies that the government of [Hassan] Rouhani is pursuing is to combat corruption,” Ebtekar told Hürriyet in Istanbul recently when asked about the corruption allegations in Turkey, which also have links to Iran.

Read the story by Cansu Çamlıbel, in Hurriyet Daily News. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/media-freedom-needed-to-fight-corruption-says-iranian-vp-ebtekar.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75901&NewsCatID=359

The Ethical Alliance Daily (23 Dec 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (23 Dec 2014)

Today's top story Global:Alstom to pay record $772m fine for bribery
Financial Times
French industrial group Alstom SA pleaded guilty on Monday to paying more than $75m in bribes to government officials around the world and agreed to a $772.3m fine, the largest penalty by the US Department of Justice for foreign bribery.

More news Brazil: Oil scandal in Brazil just keeps growing; optimists see chance for change
The Washington Post (TI mention)
China: Former executives of China's Shenhua energy under investigation
Reuters
Greece:Greek bribery claims dismissed ahead of key vote
The Wall Street Journal
Hong Kong: Hong Kong property tycoon and former official jailed for corruption
Agence France Presse
Tanzania: Tanzania's Kikwete sacks Tibaijuka over payment
BBC
US: US treasury seeks to guard against illegal sports wagers
Reuters

Blogs and opinion���…

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Grimm Day for NY Congressman (23 Dec 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: Grimm Day for NY Congressman (23 Dec 2014). By Ben DiPietro. http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/12/23/corruption-currents-grimm-day-for-ny-congressman/

Maldives - UN expert concerned at ‘unacceptable’ dismissal of Supreme Court justices

The removal of two Supreme Court justices in the Maldives by local authorities threatens the independence of the country’s judiciary and further compromises the rule of law, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has warned.  “This decision seriously undermines the independence of the judiciary in the country and will have a chilling effect on the work of the judiciary at all levels,” Gabriela Knaul stressed in a news release issued 22 December 2014.

Read the story in the UN News Centre. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49661#.VJkrm0AKEA

Australia - Corruption Updates (24 Dec 2014)

Facilitator's note: Thank you to Tony Prescott, Executive Director of Corruption Fighters, for sharing these updates.]

#1:  Some politicians are just unbelievably loyal. Today the royal commission into union governance and corruption will hand down its interim report [which] will almost certainly find links between organised crime and union activity. The Age - 15 December http://www.theage.com.au/comment/some-politicians-are-just-unbelievably-loyal-20141214-126vq5.html

#2:  More contractors charged for not keeping quiet over CCC investigation. Three more people embroiled in the Corruption and Crime Commission investigation involving City of Perth works have been charged for unlawfully disclosing restricted information. WA Today - 17 December http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/more-contractors-charged-for-not-keeping-quiet-over-ccc-investigation-20141217-1297j5.html

#3:  'No evidence' Eddie Obeid is a flight risk: court. Corrupt former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid left the cou…

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (22 Dec 2014)

Today's top story China: China to “regulate” foreign NGOs with new law
Reuters
China aims to "regulate" foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under a law being discussed this week, state media said on Monday, wherein NGOs would need to be registered with and approved by the state in order to operate in the country.

More news Global: Cracking the shells
The Economist (TI mention)
Brazil: Brazil’s elite feel the heat as Petrobras corruption net widens
The Irish Times (TI mention)
Haiti: Haiti’s first family under corruption probe cloud
Voice of America
Italy: Renzi’s reform dream comes up against a corruption nightmare
The Financial Times (TI mention)
Luxembourg: Gramegna calls LuxLeaks ‘game changer’ for tax-deal probe
Bloomberg
Romania: New Romanian President Klaus Iohannis vows to tackle corruption
Euronews
Spain: Princess Cristina to be tried for fraud
Associated Press
U…

The Ethical Alliance Daily (22 Dec 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: North Korea Threatens U.S. Over Sony (22 Dec 2014)

WSJ -Corruption Currents: North Korea Threatens U.S. Over Sony (22 Dec 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld. http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/12/22/corruption-currents-north-korea-threatens-u-s-over-sony-hacking-allegations/

Vietnam, Japan to boost corruption fight in ODA projects

Vietnam and Japan will hold more discussions to prevent and fight corruption in projects using Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds, Japanese ambassador to Vietnam Fukada Hiroshi said. The ambassador was answering questions from the press about solutions that Vietnam and Japan have put forward to reduce corruption in ODA projects.

Read the story in Thanh Nien News http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/vietnam-japan-to-boost-corruption-fight-in-oda-projects-35112.html

The World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment - Report on Functions, Data and Lessons Learned 2007-2013

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Pascale Helene Dubois, Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, Office of Suspension and Debarment, The World Bank, for sharing this information.]

Hello,

Earlier this year, my office released its first public report titled The World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment: Report on Functions, Data and Lessons Learned 2007-2013. This adds to reports previously issued by the Integrity Vice Presidency and the Sanctions Board, furthering the World Bank’s commitment to transparency and accountability regarding its suspension and debarment process for firms and individuals accused of fraud and corruption in Bank-financed projects.

Given your work in the field of anti-corruption, I thought you might be interested in our statistics and lessons learned.

If you would like a hardcopy of the report, please submit your request to OSDreport@worldbank.org.

We would appreciate it very much if you could forward the link to the report to other interested parties! 

Best …

Nationalist People's Congress deputy appointed to key post on Hong Kong's corruption watchdog

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung has named a National People’s Congress deputy to a top post on the city’s anti-corruption body, sparking opposition from the pan-democratic camp. Maria Tam Wai-chu, who is a representative on China’s legislature, was named as the new chairwoman of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s operations review committee, the body responsible for overseeing all investigations by the graft-buster.

Read the story by Fanny W. Y. Fung, in South China Morning Post. http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1666567/npc-deputy-appointed-key-post-hong-kongs-corruption-watchdog-icac

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (19 Dec 2014)

Today's top storyChina: Depleted oil field is window into China's corruption crackdown
Reuters
A subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), PetroChina Daqing Oilfield, paid $85 million to pump from three blocks in the ageing Limau field under a 2013 contract with Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, Pertamina, according to senior Chinese oil industry officials with knowledge of the transaction.


More newsAustralia: Secrecy surrounds corruption case against Adelaide drug cops
9news
Brazil: Rousseff says Brazil must stamp out corruption, not companies
Bloomberg
Canada: Culture of corruption in Quebec needs to be changed
CBC
China: Hong Kong tycoon Thomas Kwok found guilty of corruption
BBC
Italy: Italy's anti-corruption czar to join Rome bid team
New Zealand Herald
Switzerland: FIFA to release World Cup corruption report
Al Jazeera


Blogs and opinionGlobal: Official aid in line for a makeover as donors announce 'historic agreement'
The Guardian


News from Transpare…

WSJ - Corruption Currents: FIFA President Declares World Cup Bidding Crisis Over (19 Dec 2014)

WSJ - Corruption Currents: FIFA President Declares World Cup Bidding Crisis Over (19 Dec 2014). By Samuel Rubenfeld. http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/12/19/corruption-currents-fifa-president-declares-world-cup-bidding-crisis-over/

Addressing police corruption - 6 lessons Asian countries can learn from Singapore

[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Prof. Jon S.T. Quah, anti-corruption consultant, Singapore, for sharing this information.]

Jon S.T. Quah, (2014) "Curbing police corruption in Singapore: lessons for other Asian countries", Asian Educationand Development Studies, Vol. 3 Iss: 3, pp.186 - 222

From the abstract in the publisher's website:

This paper analyses the causes of police corruption in Singapore during the British colonial period and describes the measures adopted by the People's Action Party government after assuming office in June 1959 to curb police corruption. The effectiveness of these measures is assessed by referring to Singapore's perceived extent of corruption according to three international indicators and the reported cases of police corruption from 1965 to 2011.

The Singapore Police Force has succeeded in minimizing police corruption by improving salaries and working conditions, cooperating with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, enhancin…

Singapore’s anti-corruption policies can be benchmark for Ukraine - President Poroshenko

During his 2-day working visit to Singapore, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Singapore’s anti-corruption policies can be a benchmark for Ukraine as it tries to introduce reforms, with both countries having agreed to cooperate in the area of anti-corruption.

Read the story by Saifulbahri Ismail and Imelda Saad, in Today. http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapores-anti-corruption-policies-can-be-benchmark-ukraine-president-poroshenko

Updated Anticorruption Bibliography – December 2014 Update

An updated version of the anticorruption bibliography of Matthew Stephenson, editor-in-chief of the Global Anticorruption Blog,is available.  "As always, I welcome suggestions for other sources that are not yet included, including any papers GAB readers have written."

Read the post by Matthew Stephenson in the Global Anticorruption Blog. http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/12/16/updated-anticorruption-bibliography-december-2014-update/

Bhutan's king issues corruption warning

The king of Bhutan urged his people to be on their guard against corruption as their once isolated Himalayan nation grows more prosperous. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said corruption - a scourge of Bhutan's wealthier neighbours India and China - was the greatest potential threat to his country's development. "The highest probable risk to development that I foresee is corruption," he said in a national day speech. "Our national development efforts will be hindered by unchecked corruption."

Read the story in Channel News Asia. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/bhutan-s-king-issues/1537744.html

OECD Foreign Bribery Report

You can read online the OECD Foreign Bribery Report - An Analysis of the Crime of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, published 2 Dec 2014: http://www.oecd.org/corruption/oecd-foreign-bribery-report-9789264226616-en.htm

Indonesia 2014 Anti-Corruption Film Festival winners

Five films out of over 330 entries were chosen winners of Indonesia's 2014 Anti-Corruption Film Festival (ACFFest) sponsored by the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). The winningfilms are ‘ijolan’ by Eka Susialawati (Student Short Fiction), ‘jumrah’ by Mulyantojoyo (Public Short Fiction), ‘Adit dan Sopo Jarwo Ojek Payung Biking Bingung’ by I.R Wardana Riza (Animation), ‘Robohnya Sekolah Kami’ (The Fall of Our School) by Uli Retno Dewanti, and ‘Dilarang Berjalan di Trotoar’ (Forbidden to Walk on the Sidewalk) by Nugroho Budi Santosa.

Read the story by Anang Zakaria inTempo. http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2014/12/16/114628809/The-Anti-Corruption-Film-Festival

The Ethical Alliance Daily (18 Dec 2014)

Transparency International - Daily Corruption News (18 Dec 2014)

Today's top story UK: Britain targets financial fraud with anti-corruption police unit
Reuters Britain is to set up a specialist police unit focused on corruption and bribery, aiming to bolster its defences against white-collar crime in the financial sector as part of a wider plan to stamp out fraudulent business practices.

More news Global: EU shines light on dirty money with central registers
Reuters (TI mention) Global: Avon products settles bribery charges for $135M
Associated Press Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s new millionaires
Bloomberg Businessweek Bhutan: Bhutan’s king issues corruption warning
Agence France-Presse China: Xi’s visit to Macau deals cold deck to VIP gamblers
Reuters India: Reliance payments to Indian politicians raise transparency issues
The Financial Times Iraq: Iraq PM drops lawsuits against journalists
Associated Press

Blogs and opinion Global: World Cup corruption: could FIFA be set to perform report U-turn?
BBC

News from Transparency International Online documentary: African…

Australia - Corruption Updates (19 Dec 2014)

Image
[Facilitator's note: Thank you to Tony Prescott, Executive Director, Corruption Fighters, for sharing these updates.]
#1:  Colin Barnett denies knowledge of Dean Nalder scandal. Premier Colin Barnett maintained he was unaware of his Transport Minister's conflict-of-interest scandal until Thursday despite stating everyone knew about Dean Nalder's business background when he took office in March. WA Today - 1 December 2014 http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/colin-barnett-denies-knowledge-of-dean-nalder-scandal-20141201-11xrwv.html
#2:  Department of Premier and Cabinet knew of 'conflict': Nalder. WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder has no plans to resign his post despite being embroiled in a conflict-of-interest scandal over his private business interests. WA Today - 1 December 2014. http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/department-of-premier-and-cabinet-knew-of-conflict-nalder-20141201-11x6i7.html
#3:  Ryde former mayor Ivan Petch quits after failing to overturn corruption fi…