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Digest Article Search
Page 2 of 23
Nigeria's oil thieves say government leaves them no choice
Copyright: Reuters, 15th January, 2013
This article illustrates how the Nigerian police and military have become accomplices of the illegal oil “bunkering”, despite a government campaign against it which was stepped up last year. Tapping into unguarded pipelines to steal oil is a major headache for the country’s treasury, whose funds depends mostly on oil revenue. Sources in the article confess that they can keep the police and military quiet about their moves by simply “paying them off”.
French judges open new ‘Karachi’ probe against Sarkozy
Copyright: Dawn.com/AFP, 10th January, 2013
A new probe has been initiated in the so-called “Karachi gate”—which links a French-Pakistani arms deal with funding for Edouard Balladur’s unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign, and a later bombing as alleged revenge for the cancellation of bribes secretly promised to Pakistani officials. Now, the eyes are on former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who back then was finance minister. The judges are looking into a press release he published in 2011, stressing that his name did not appear in any of the files of the case, hence violating a confidentiality law that forbids publication of information about open investigations.
In Drug Fight on Texas Border, Some Officers Play Both Sides
Copyright: New York Times, 2nd January, 2013
More arrests were made in what is described as a “long line of officers accused of escorting, stealing or distributing drug loads near the 1,254-mile border that Texas shares with Mexico.” In other cases, officers have been accused of illegally exporting weapons – from handguns to hand grenades – over the border to drug gangs. Some authorities have expressed a level of surprise at the “long line” of officers, as many only stand to earn a few thousand US dollars – a relatively modest sum – and they risk decades behind bars.
Indonesia Survey Shows Many View Bribing Police as “Normal”
Copyright: Wall Street Journal, 2nd January, 2013
The Central Statistics Agency of Indonesia, for the first time, published an anti-corrupt behaviour index. The agency surveyed 10,000 households across 33 provinces and aggregated the scores into scores ranging from zero – “highly permissive toward corruption” – to five – “highly anticorruption”. Disturbingly, the survey found that around a third of those asked consider bribing police officers to be a normal part of life.
Yemen soldiers demand sacking of commanders, allege corruption
Copyright: M&C/Deutsche Presse, 31st December, 2012
Soldiers and security officers have taken to the streets to demand accountability for their commanders’ alleged corruption in the Yemeni cities of Taiz and Sana’a. These soldiers allege that senior officials were also complicit in the killings of former president Saleh’s opponents. “These people must leave their positions because they represent injustice and terror instead of security and peace,” the article quotes a soldier as saying. The opposition has called these protests against security leadership a “revolution of institutions” against loyalists of Saleh.
The army and the economy in Egypt
Copyright: Egypt Independent, 24th December, 2012
The Egyptian Armed Forces currently own between 25 and 40 per cent of the national economy, including the production of “pasta, mineral water, butane gas cylinders and gas station services.” These economic activities are civilian in nature, yet they are classified as military secrets—it is considered a crime of high treason to even discuss these enterprises in public, according to the article. This exposé of the Armed Forces’ economic control gives insight into the history of this system and the corruption that underpins it, the failings of the military establishment as business leaders, and the negative impact on its workers and the Egyptian population.
Read full article: http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/566416
Defence ministry accuses car fleet boss of corruption
Copyright: Dutch News, 14th December, 2012
The defence ministry is investigating possible fraud by the civilian head of its 6,000 strong fleet of vehicles. According to the Telegraaf newspaper, the man, known as Jacques H, is said to have spent years driving around in luxury cars which he did not pay for. The man was allegedly allowed to buy cars at large discounts but did not pay the bills, a whistle-blower has told defence officials.
Changing of the guard for Philippine church and military
Copyright: Jakarta Globe, 13th December, 2012
On December 13, Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa replaced Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. as 43rd chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Dellosa has said that he will continue his predecessor’s efforts against military corruption, and that recent development in South China Sea has made modernisation of the country’s external defence capabilities a necessity. The 125,000-member Philippines military is currently one of the weakest in Asia and struggles to modernise its air force and navy due to lack of funds.
Cuba targets military firm in corruption probe
Copyright: Reuters, 13th December, 2012
Cuba has detained top executives of the powerful military-run Tecnotex company, broadening a corruption investigation that has already shuttered three foreign firms. Tecnotex is one of the most important trading companies on the Communist-run island, purchasing equipment, technology, construction materials and other goods for a myriad of military-owned firms in the civilian sector of the economy.
India: Antony orders probe into controversial Rs. 500-crore contract
Copyright: The Hindu, 8th December, 2012
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has ordered the Army to begin an internal investigation based on The Hindu's revelation that alleged corruption in the procurement of over USD 10,000 worth of equipment had compromised its ability to use satellite images of enemy troop movements and assets
Read full article: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2698901.ece
Czech Republic: Ex-defence min accuses former interior min of fabricating Tatra case
Copyright: Prague Daily Monitor, 8th December, 2012
Former Czech Defence Minister, Maryin Bartak, has been accused of fraud and bribe taking in relation with the 2006 purchase of Tatra trucks for the Czech Army. The second man prosecuted is his acquaintance, MPI Group armament company owner Michal Smrz. Bartak and Smrz are prosecuted for demanding USD 5 million from the Tatra company in exchange for ensuring the smooth conduct of the contact. Meanwhile, a new procurement law has been passed in the lower house of the Czech Parliament which aims at reducing corruption by lowering the thresholds for tenders for any procurement deals by central and local government bodies, and ordering the publication of owners of companies in tenders and their suppliers.
Defence contractor jailed for bribing army captain
Copyright: Cash & Advances, 6th December, 2012
Defence contractor Yow Wah alias Richard has been jailed for giving bribes to an army captain in return of classified information related to military projects in the Singapore Armed Forces. Richard, who handles the executive of Certified Aerospace Singapore, has been jailed for up to eight weeks for giving bribes in the form of money loans to army captain Phua Poh Sim.
Finmeccanica chairman quits, powers handed to CEO
Copyright: Reuters TrustLaw, 1st December, 2012
The Italian aerospace defence group Finmeccanica has been placed under scrutiny after their corruption scandal broke out last November. The chairman of the defence group, Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, has denied any involvement in creating slush funds or making irregular payments. Following Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s call on prompt actions against the widening corruption scandal, Finmeccanica’s chief executive Giuseppe Orsi has been appointed as a new chairman in the place of Guarguaglini, who had initially declined the calls for his resignation.
‘Alarming’ failures in BAE Systems’ settlement deal with Tanzania, Development Committee Report says
Copyright: Huffington Post, 30th November, 2012
BAE Systems’ history of corruption accusations suffered another setback when it admitted "improper book-keeping" regarding payments made to an ‘adviser’ on the sale of an air traffic control system to Tanzania, which were allegedly used to bribe officials and secure contracts. While the company was not found guilty of corruption offences, in December 2010 it committed to a £29.5 million (USD 46.7 million) settlement payment into the country’s education budget to end the investigation into the deal. However, the payment has been dragged on until now. “The long saga of allegations about corruption involving BAE Systems has been a national embarrassment to both the UK and Tanzania, and it is astonishing that no individual has yet been found guilty despite the company having to pay fines and reparations of USD 450 million for Tanzania and other cases,” said Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director at Transparency International UK, which made a submission to the committee's report.
Honduras gives military new policing powers
Copyright: CNN, 29th November, 2012
In an effort to purge its national police force of corruption, the Honduran Congress voted to empower its military to carry out most police duties for at least 18 months. This will give the military a broad mandate over day-to-day crime fighting in the country, and gives the armed forces additional powers against organised crime. "We cannot have armed forces only for foreign threats when there are so many deaths in the country because of violence," Juan Orlando Hernandez, president of the Congress, said before the vote. "We are making this decision to support the Honduran people."
Read full article: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/30/world/americas/honduras-military/index.html?eref=edition_americas&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fedition_americas+%28RSS%3A+Americas
Will South Africa’s ‘Secrecy Bill’ become law?
Copyright: BBC, 23rd November, 2012
Described as the biggest obstacle to democracy since the ending of apartheid in 1994, the ‘Secrecy Bill’ was passed by Cape Town’s parliament on 22 November 2011, followed by massive protests. In the current bill, there are harsh sentences of up to 25 years for anyone possessing classified government information. Disturbingly, there is an absence of a public interest clause, providing a defence for journalists publishing materials exposing government or corruption. Amid allegations that the bill has been introduced following an arms deal probe, in an increasingly corrupt government, Mandela’s promise that press freedom in South Africa would never be curbed with the ANC as the majority party, is severely threatened. However, fortunately for the opposition of the Bill, it is yet to go through the Upper House, and can be challenged at the Constitutional Court before becoming a law.
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15860557
Mills splashes 64 million on choppers – while verification is on hold
Copyright: All Africa, 21st November, 2012
The National Democratic Congress (NDC)-led government in Ghana has requested parliamentary approval for 4 MI-171 SH Helicopters, which will cost an estimated EUR 64 million (USD 84 million). Given this is the second request in 2011 for new aircraft for military operations in a hard-hit economy, with workers demanding wage increases, the proposal has been criticised over corruption allegations.
Read full article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201111211742.html
Ex-military men say graft risks lives of soldiers
Copyright: Malaysiakini, 19th November, 2012
Corruption in the defence sector is said to threaten the life and wellbeing of soldiers in the Malaysian Army. In an interview for Malaysiakini, three army officers report of corruption in the defence sector which has resulted in military recommendations to purchase sub-par equipment which put lives at stake. Defence companies are also said to share the blame due to improper equipment being sold (i.e. equipment purchased for the Scorpene submarines which did not fit the specifications of the vessel).
Mexico lawmakers submit plans to overhaul police, fight graft
Copyright: Reuters TrustLaw, 16th November, 2012
Mexico’s incoming president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has outlined a bill that consolidates police power in a way that he believes will help them more effectively battle the powerful drug cartels. Violence from the cartels has claimed the lives of over 60,000 people over the last six years. The new policies centralise power to the federal level, allowing a national commission to hire and fire both federal and local police officials, and beefing up the police force by employing mostly military or ex-military personnel. While the intent is to raise authority to a level out of the reach of corruption, such a comprehensive concentration of authority presents risks of its own.
Corruption in Military Poses a Test for China
Copyright: New York Times, 14th November, 2012
As the world’s most populous country undergoes a much-anticipated transfer of power, some prominent Chinese officials seek to bring the internal threat posed by mass graft to light. Leaders, such as General Liu Yuan, have sacrificed promising careers to spread this message. The media attention earned by these outcries may leave some hopeful that China’s highly-centralised political system may finally address corruption as a real threat, or even institutionalise some mechanisms for accountability.
US gives firms hints on avoiding foreign bribery charges
Copyright: Reuters TrustLaw, 14th November, 2012
The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission released a paper documenting their criteria for enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an act which makes bribery carried out by US companies in foreign countries illegal under US law. Bribery is a common form of corruption in the defence sector, with companies often offering politicians substantial kickbacks to sign for large orders of weapons systems. The guidelines will now explicitly state what constitutes a bribe under US law.
After Obama win, U.S. backs new U.N. arms treaty talks
Copyright: Reuters, 7th November, 2012
After previously moving to scupper progress towards the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the freshly re-elected Obama administration is now backing a U.N. committee’s demand to begin new talks. The US maintained dissatisfaction with the wording of the previous draft as their reasoning for not moving forward. They are joined by four of the other top six arms-exporting nations: Britain, France, Germany, and China. A resolution to schedule the new talks passed the U.N. General Assembly with 157 votes. The new ATT talks are schedule to take place between the 18 and 28 March 2013.
Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov fired by Putin
Copyright: BBC, 6th November, 2012
The Russian Defence Minister was sacked by the president of the country following an investigation into a USD 100 million corruption scheme involving the sale of ministry property at rock bottom prices. In October, investigators raided the offices of a state-controlled military contractor at the centre of the accusations, and a former Ministry of Defence employee and her partner where arrested in relation to the scandal.
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20218216
Corrupt Zimbabwe Police Exposed
Copyright: Voice of the People Radio, 6th November, 2012
The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACTA) has revealed that their assessment of the Zimbabwean police shows corruption is worsening within the institution. The watchdog claims bribes at checkpoints are pocketed by the officers “depriving the nation of its much needed resources for development”. This form of corruption is making them rich overnight and causing massive traffic jams in the border of the country, as the crossing is slowed down due to the bribery negotiations.
North Korea: This cannot be good
Copyright: Strategy Page, 5th November, 2012
Senior officials of the North Korean secret police were arrested in November under suspicion of taking bribes in order to enable people to escape to China. According to the article, National Security Agency (NSA) officials have been believed to be “approachable” for many years now. The arrests have been conducted under the military intelligence operation which has been carrying out scrutiny over NSA officials for the past six months.
Read full article: http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/korea/articles/20111105.aspx
Afghan corruption, and how the US facilitates it
Copyright: The Washington Post, 5th November, 2012
According to the Afghan government, levels of corruption in Afghanistan have risen dramatically since the US began its involvement in the country. The US has set poor examples by contracting out jobs to their known associates and family members of prominent Afghan politicians. Furthermore, there is little oversight of these contracts. Fuel is highlighted as a vulnerable area for corruption, where multiple contracts for over USD 100 million are being investigated for stolen fuel and overcharging. A culture of graft has been established around the distribution and transportation of fuel, with bribery common and theft all but expected.
US probe unlikely to hurt Embraer bidding – CEO
Copyright: Reuters TrustLaw, 4th November, 2012
A U.S. government bribery probe of Embraer is unlikely to hamper the Brazilian planemaker's bidding for U.S. defence contracts, Chief Executive Officer Frederico Curado said last November. Curado declined to discuss the implications of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of Embraer for a possible violation of the FCPA, but said on a conference call that he was "confident that it won't prevent us from participating in any bidding process."
Ousting of police chief highlights Argentina’s vulnerability to organized crime
Copyright: Christian Science Monitor, 2nd November, 2012
A police commissioner in Santa Fe – Argentina’s largest state – was removed from his position after being accused of taking kickbacks from drug traffickers. This case provides insight into the prevalence of drug trafficking throughout Central and South America, the available monetary capital in this trade, and the accessibility to police and military officials to these trafficking organisations. With criminal organisations’ money constantly increasing and government budgets consistently shrinking, the risk for this kind of corruption can only escalate.
Leader Ousted, Nation Is Now a Drug Haven
Copyright: New York Times, 1st November, 2012
After the army ousted Guinea-Bissau’s President in April, there has been a sizeable increase in drug trafficking in the country. Institutions such as the UNODC, and the US’s Drug Enforcement Agency and Treasury have acknowledged the links between the military and the drug smugglers, who have now transformed Guinea-Bissau in one of the major drug transit hubs in the world. The country’s former prosecutor general, Octávio Inocêncio Alves, also confirmed to the New York Times that “a lot of the traffickers have direct relationships with the military.” Drugs have also been the drive behind more than half-dozen unsolved political assassinations in the last three years, including the long time president. Up to date, nobody has been prosecuted for these killings.
Corruption alleged in Italy-India defence deal
Copyright: Dawn, 30th October, 2012
A consultant involved in the sale of helicopters to India was arrested for allegedly receiving a USD 65 million commission, a form payment commonly linked to corruption, for completing the sale. Investigators have possession of several audio tapes of the consultant and his associates laying out strategies to complete the sale. An assumedly high-ranking Indian official is mentioned repeatedly as a facilitator, however, investigators refused to release the individual’s name. Indian officials are also demanding details from the United Kingdom, where the helicopter manufacturer is based.