The number of corruption-related crimes involving top government officials and large bribes increased 100% in 2010 year-on-year, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said on Thursday. “Criminal proceedings were launched against some 10,000 officials, one-third of them were started for taking brides,” Nurgaliyev said at a session of a Russian presidential council for combating corruption. More than 20 top Russian officials were brought to trial last year compared with half that number in 2009. “Such cases almost doubled,” Nurgaliyev said adding that corruption remains an issue of concern despite efforts taken by the government. Nurgaliyev said the Russian Interior Ministry plans to speed up efforts to combat corruption. He said the main focus will be made on detecting corruption-related crimes among businessmen and also ministry officials themselves.
U.S. diplomats accused Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government of taking bribes from drug traffickers in exchange for freeing suspects, in cables released by Wikileaks. The bribes formed a kind of “judicial ‘campaign finance’ machine” in return for not-guilty verdicts, according to a May 5, 2006, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Manangua, Nicaragua. It says the ruling Sandinista party regularly accepted cash from drug traffickers, “usually in return for ordering Sandinista judges to allow traffickers caught by the police and military to go free.” The scheme, the cable said, was run by the director of the state security service and overseen by Supreme Court judges, including Rafael Solis and Roger Camillo Arguello. The Nicaraguan Consulate in Washington declined to comment, deferring to the Foreign Ministry, which didn’t respond to a request for comment. Government representatives in Managua couldn’t be reached. The State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment on the cable.
Masked Men Raid Billionaire Alexander Lebedev, Rusnano Building in Moscow (Bloomberg):
Masked police raided offices of a bank controlled by billionaire Alexander Lebedev, the Kremlin critic who owns the Novaya Gazeta opposition weekly in Moscow and Britain’s Evening Standard and Independent…
Barclays, UBS, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland Involved in Money Laundering for Corrupt Nigerian Politicians
Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS – have been linked to money laundering scam over which some corrupt Nigerian politicians were indicted. A report entitled ‘International Thief Thief’ from Global Witness, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that exposes the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems, drives campaigns to end impunity, resource-linked conflict, and human rights and environmental abuses, accused the banks of fueling corruption in the world’s most-populous black nation. In a 40-page report published yesterday in www.globalwitness.org, Global Witness said that the five banks had taken millions of pounds between 1999 and 2005 from two former governors accused of corruption (Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State and Joshua Dariye of Plateau State), but had failed sufficiently to investigate the customers or the source of their funds. Barclays, HSBC and UBS are all members of the Wolfsberg Group, an international body set up in 2000 to try to improve global anti-money laundering procedures. The report said the banks might not have broken the law, but had helped to fuel corruption in Nigeria.
Stability in Afghanistan – where it exists – is terribly fragile. Security is a daily concern for Afghan people, and even those living in more secure areas of the country face a fluid and volatile security situation that sees rapid changes, often for the worse. Central government control is tenuous, especially in rural areas and parts of the country that are the scene of conflict with insurgents. Access to even the most basic of government services – health, education, electricity – is tenuous at best and often unavailable. Complicating matter exponentially is the extreme poverty of Afghanistan – a country struggling with some of the most daunting statistics in the world for literacy, maternal mortality, food security, and life expectancy. In this context, simply to survive from one day to the next is a terrible challenge for many people.
One of Afghanistan’s most senior prosecutors says the President, Hamid Karzai, fired him after he repeatedly refused to block corruption investigations at the highest levels of the government. Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar, the former deputy attorney-general, said investigations of more than two dozen senior officials – including cabinet ministers, ambassadors and provincial governors – were being held up or blocked outright by Mr Karzai, the Attorney-General, Mohammed Ishaq Aloko, and others. ”We propose investigations, detentions and prosecutions of high government officials, but we cannot resist him,” Mr Faqiryar said of Mr Karzai. ”He won’t sign anything. We have great, honest, and professional prosecutors here, but we need support.” This month Mr Karzai intervened to stop the prosecution of one of his closest aides, Mohammed Zia Salehi, who investigators say had been wiretapped demanding a bribe from another Afghan seeking his help in scuttling a corruption investigation.
The Washington Post has changed significant portions of an article published earlier today regarding the CIA’s payment of large numbers of people within Hamid Karzai’s administration in Afghanistan. These changes occur mostly in the beginning of the article and substantially manipulate its content. Most notable among the changes is the complete elimination of a quote describing how “half of Karzai’s palace” is on the CIA payroll. This quote, from an anonymous U.S. government official, was replaced with a paraphrased statement that “a significant number” of officials in Karzai’s administration are paid by the CIA. This alteration is followed by a quote from a CIA spokesman, which does not appear in the original article, who says that the “anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both.” Another significant quote from this anonymous source, detailing how Kazai is “blind to about 80 percent of what’s going on below him”, was also completely eliminated from the article. There are also a number of smaller changes all of which are designed to eliminate the perception of ignorance, malfeasance, and public perception that the Afghan government is almost wholly owned by the CIA.
Mohammad Zia Salehi was arrested by a British and American-backed anti-corruption task force last month after being allegedly recorded soliciting a bribe to hamper a money laundering inquiry. Mr Salehi, chief of administration for the national security council, is said to have been a trusted intermediary for the government, arranging meetings with insurgents in its attempts to start negotiations with the Taliban. Hamid Karzai, the Afghanistan president, personally intervened to release his aide, angering Western embassies who have asked him to clamp down on the corruption which riddles his administration.
October 15, 2009
Aides to the US treasury secretary who each earned large pay packets working for some of the country’s largest investment companies have been advising the administration on its regulatory policy, despite never having faced senate confirmation.
None of the aides to…
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he will resign should prosecutors indict him on corruption charges being recommended by police. Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beitenu party is the second- largest in the coalition government, denied the allegations of fraud, bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice while speaking to members of his party in parliament. Yesterday, he said police had waged a 13-year campaign against him.