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The week in corruption, 7 February 2020
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Feb 7, 2020, 12:52 PM (1 day ago)
7 February 2020
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This week we saw a huge and welcome step in the UK’s battle to stop dirty money being washed on its shores. In the first British case based on an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) – a court order compelling individuals to reveal the source of their wealth – the wife of a jailed Azerbaijani state banker lost her appeal. UK authorities seized her London luxury home after she had spent £16m at a department store and failed to reveal a legitimate origin of that money.
We estimate that UWOs could be applied to a minimum of 500 UK properties belonging to more than 150 individuals, with the funds recovered responsibly returned to their rightful owners.
Journalist, not hacker
Meanwhile in Brazil, a judge has dismissed charges against investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald. He had been accused of “cyber crimes” after publishing a series of articles that raised questions about the independence of Brazil’s biggest corruption investigation, Operation Lava Jato (Carwash). The exposé, based on hacked phone messages, focussed on potential collusion between then-judge Sergio Moro and state prosecutors.
Global cooperation for global accountability
Global fallout following Airbus’ record-breaking bribery settlement continues, with executives stepping down and new investigations being launched. These new probes should aim to fill the gaps left open by the agreement reached with authorities in France, the UK and US. Going after the company alone is not enough – individuals paying and giving bribes must face consequences, too. Global cooperation is indispensable for holding people on both ends of the bribe to account, and to make sure that big companies can’t simply buy their way out of trouble.
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News from Transparency International
Airplane dropping bundles of cash
Why don’t the victims of bribery share in the record-breaking Airbus settlement?
Last Friday, French, UK and US authorities announced that Airbus would pay record penalties for foreign bribery. Notably absent in the agreements are any plans to share the penalty payment with the countries where the company was paying bribes.
Anti-Corruption Award 2020 Nominations open now!
Do you know an anti-corruption hero? Someone who is a source of inspiration and proves that corruption can be challenged? Nominate them for this year's Anti-Corruption Award! Winners will be announced at the International Anti-Corruption Conference this June in Seoul, Korea. Nominations are open now!
New on Voices for Transparency
Panama takes a turn towards transparency, but will it go far enough?
The country that became almost synonymous with the creation of offshore companies for disguising corrupt and illicit activity after the Panama Papers has been forced to adjust to new standards of transparency.
Money forming a wave
Shell companies let a ‘parade of horribles’ into the U.S. financial system. This year, we’re fighting back.
Although the Corruption Perceptions Index reflects perceptions of public sector corruption, there’s little doubt that the U.S.’s private financial system is increasingly at risk of being seen — and perhaps treated — as a one-stop-shop for laundering dirty money.
Parliament of Estonia
Estonia: time to increase transparency in policy-making
Estonia has made a brand for itself through setting up e-governance systems like nowhere else in the world. Losing that contact point between a citizen and a civil servant, or rather moving it to the digital world, has been one of the main reasons why the population enjoys a daily life free of petty corruption.
The importance of political integrity in eradicating corruption in Indonesia
With a score of 40 out of 100, Indonesia improves two points on the CPI to earn its highest score since 2012. Indonesia’s score is a symbol of its anti-corruption improvements in government, including through the country’s anti-corruption commission, and in the financial and business sectors. However, in order to build on its short-term gains, the country must make more progress in its anti-corruption efforts and agenda.
Corruption in the news this week
Global: Khashoggi fiancee: 'Saudi Arabia can get away with whatever it wants'
The Guardian (4 February)
Angola: Corruption and nepotism in oil-rich Angola
DW (7 February)
Brazil / USA: DOJ, Odebrecht agree to extend corruption monitorship for nine months
Reuters (5 February)
Malaysia: Former first lady goes on trial for corruption
Jakarta Post (5 February)
Portugal: Portugal’s complacency towards corruption
Open Democracy (4 February)
South Africa: Court issues arrest warrant for Zuma, suspended until May
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