Corruption

White-collar crooks face up to 15 years in jail under new penalties

Banking executives face up to 15 years in jail under tough new laws to stamp out white-collar crime as the corporate regulator prepares to crack down on misconduct in the sector. Sarah Danckert The Sydney Morning Herald On Friday, the Senate passed a long-awaited bill that drastically increases the penalties for white-collar crime. Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s deputy chairman, enforcement, Daniel Crennan, QC, welcomed the passing of the bill on Friday. “Now ASIC will be in a position to ... Read More »

El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts; Faces Life in Prison

The Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo was convicted on Tuesday after a three-month drug trial in New York that exposed the inner workings of his sprawling cartel, which over decades shipped tons of drugs into the… Alan Feuer The New York Times The guilty verdict against the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, ended the career of a legendary outlaw who also served as a dark folk hero in Mexico, notorious for his innovative smuggling tactics, ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs’ role in the 1MDB scandal – in 300 words

The 1MDB corruption scandal has cast a shadow over Goldman Sachs, raising questions about how much the US investment bank knew about the misconduct. BBC What is Goldman accused of? The firm helped raise $6.5bn (£5bn) for the Malaysian development fund, advising on three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013. Prosecutors allege more than $2.7bn was later embezzled, used to bribe government officials and buy luxury items. In November, Goldman’s lead banker on the deals, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty in US court ... Read More »

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York. BBC In the most gruesome testimony to date, Isaias Valdez Rios described seeing “El Chapo” brutally beat at least three men before shooting them. Guzmán denies charges including trafficking and money laundering. If guilty, he could be jailed for life. The ex-boss of the Sinaloa cartel was held in 2016 after escaping from jail. He used ... Read More »

Journalist Pelin Ünker sentenced to jail in Turkey over Paradise Papers investigation

Journalist was found guilty of ‘defamation and insult’ for writing about companies owned by former PM Julian Borger The Guardian A Turkish journalist has been sentenced to more than a year in jail for her work on the Paradise Papers investigation into offshore tax havens, because it revealed details of the business activities of the country’s former prime minister and his sons. Pelin Ünker, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was found guilty in an Istanbul ... Read More »

Fire and Ice: Conflict and Drugs in Myanmar’s Shan State

Civil strife has turned Myanmar’s Shan State into a crystal methamphetamine hub. ICG The richer the traffickers get, the harder the underlying conflicts will be to resolve. Instead of targeting minor offenders, the military should root out corruption, including among top brass, and disarm complicit paramilitaries.  What’s new? Shan State has long been a centre of conflict and illicit drug production – initially heroin, then methamphetamine tablets. Good infrastructure, proximity to precursor supplies from China and safe haven provided by ... Read More »

Competitive elections are good for democracy – just not every democracy

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections were fierce, expensive and full of upsets, with political newcomers ousting long-tenured incumbents and Democrats unseating Republicans to retake the House of Representatives. Authors: The Conversation That makes them an exemplary democratic exercise from a political science standpoint: American voters booted the congressional representatives who they believed did not fight for their interests. That’s exactly what elections are meant to do: Hold politicians accountable. But it doesn’t work that way everywhere. In younger democracies, our ... Read More »

What Populists Do to Democracies

According to our research, populist governments have deepened corruption, eroded individual rights, and inflicted serious damage on democratic institutions. Yascha Mounk Jordan Kyle The Atlantic When Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election in October to the consternation of the country’s traditional political elite, commentators were sharply divided about the implications. Some warned that Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has openly expressed admiration for the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, presented a clear and present threat ... Read More »

Former Pakistan PM Sharif sentenced to seven years jail for graft

Former Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruptionMonday, state media reported, the latest conviction in a series of allegations which saw him ousted from power last year. ISLAMABAD – AFP Hurriyet Sharif, a three-time prime minister, has denied all the charges against him and claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment. Monday’s conviction, centred on family businesses in the Middle East, is his second stemming from a corruption investigation spurred by the Panama Papers leak, and ... Read More »

One more death on third day of protests in Sudan

At least one protester was killed in the northern Sudanese city of Atbara on Dec. 21, the security chief said, as people took to the streets across the country for a third day against price rises and… KHARTOUM – Reuters Hurriyet Police fired teargas at groups who gathered in Atbara and the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman after noon prayers, witnesses said, and residents reported hearing gunfire in surrounding areas and… Web users reported problems accessing the internet, and ... Read More »

Goldman’s Woes Mount as Malaysia Slaps First Criminal Charge

Malaysia is demanding Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bear the brunt of the 1MDB scandal, opening up another legal front for the Wall Street firm over its role raising money for the investment fund. By Anisah Shukry and Sridhar Natarajan Bloomberg The country filed the first criminal charges against the U.S. bank in the global corruption probe on Monday, after publicly urging Goldman to come to the negotiating table or face litigation. The firm already is in the thick of investigations ... Read More »

European Parliament raises concerns about EU funds in Czech Republic

Prime Minister Babiš’ business interests have come under significant scrutiny. Lili Bayer Politico The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution raising concerns about conflict of interest and the use of EU money in the Czech Republic. The Parliament “regrets that for a long time the Commission remained passive, despite there having been strong indications since 2014 that Mr [Andrej] Babiš had a conflict of interest in his role as Minister of Finance and later as Prime Minister,” the MEPs wrote ... Read More »

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Anti-corruption activist shot dead in Iraq’s Basra

A prominent activist has been killed in Iraq‘s southern Basra province amid protests against poor public utilities and corruption, according to a local police officer. BAGHDAD – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Sheikh Wisam Ghazrawi outside his home in central Basra late Nov. 17, killing him on the spot, the officer said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media. Iraqi authorities have launched an investigation into the killing, for which no group has yet claimed responsibility. Ghazrawi, 30, was ... Read More »

Australia becoming more corrupt, warns former judge

Australia is becoming more corrupt because successive federal governments have failed to create an effective national anti-corruption body similar to the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption, a… Nick O’Malley The Sydney Morning Herald Writing in support of a national anti-corruption body, David Harper, a former Court of Appeals justice at the Supreme Court of Victoria, noted that in 2012 Australia ranked seventh in… “The lack of a federal anti-corruption agency remains a reason why we have never come close to ... Read More »