Is Tunisia reconciliating with the corrupt?

Tunisia’s parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a controversial law granting “reconciliation” to public officials involved in corruption who served in government during the rule of the autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. This law, which for many critics is simply an amnesty for criminals and a way to rehabilitate Ben Ali’s allies back into[…]

Montesinos is gone, but has Peru recovered all the money he stole?

More than a decade has past since Vladimiro Montesinos, head of Peru’s intelligence service and advisor to President Fujimori, received his first sentence for what would expand to be more than 30 convictions related to corruption. Montesinos, known as President Fujimori’s “Rasputin,” was charged for embezzlement, influence peddling, bribery and involvement in a death squad,[…]

A model case of public asset theft?

One could argue that former Ukrainian president Yanukovych is a model case for major public asset theft, how to profit from the secrecy of the global financial system and on the failures and hurdles in recovering those assets. Money, money, money, money While credible estimates are as always difficult, if not impossible to make, it[…]

Karimova, corruption and communications

The ongoing case of asset recovery and Uzbekistan Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan and once the international face of her father’s regime, was put under house arrest in 2014 and is now the subject of court cases from the US to the Netherlands and Switzerland over the alleged US $1[…]

The spoiled kid who loots Equatorial Guinea

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, better known as Teodorin, is the son of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a country with vast oil revenues and endemic poverty. 70% of Equatorial Guinea’s citizens live on just $1 a day Teodorin’s father, President Obiang, not only installed his eldest son as minister of forestry; he also granted him[…]

What Civil Society Can Do To Recover Assets

Civil society’s work to recover stolen assets is dominated by technical topics—from mutual legal assistance and secrecy jurisdictions, to beneficial ownership. Due to the complex nature of these technicalities, organisations that lead asset recovery efforts have mostly failed to engage the public and effectively transform angry citizens into an engaged citizenry. Civil society has an[…]

A new framework for asset recovery?

“A robust international framework for quick restitution of stolen assets is long overdue” Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria at the OECD, 30 March 2017.   Last week we were at the OECD for the 2017 Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, an event billed as a follow-on to the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Conference and bringing[…]

Beyond Egypt: other people worth sanctioning in MENA

Masses of people flooded the streets to protest the endemic corruption of their governments in Cairo, Tunis and many other Arab cities. Following these uprisings six years ago, sanctions were imposed on public officials for misappropriating public funds. Here’s a look at recent European Union (EU) actions, such as asset freezes and visa restrictions. Egypt[…]

Egypt’s (modest) efforts to bring back Mubarak’s billions

  It was the anger against the widespread corruption of Mubarak’s regime that brought millions of Egyptians on the streets in early 2011. In the aftermath of the revolution, Egyptians put a lot of hopes that they would get back the billions of Euros stolen by Mubarak and his family to invest them in building[…]