1MDB Scandal

Blog written and researched by Natalie Hawkins 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was a fund set up in 2009 by the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The purpose of the fund was to use public finances to promote economic development within Malaysia. This ongoing scandal first gained international attention in 2015 when Najib was[…]

Time’s up, but not for us.

It’s seven years ago today the Egyptian revolution, with all its hope and potential, its demand for justice and accountability, began.  A key component of that revolution was the demand for an end to corruption and a reckoning for the grand corruption that had taken place under the former regime, not least the prosecution and[…]

Yemen’s frozen assets

Ali Abdallah Saleh is dead – what happens to his assets now? On the 4 December it was widely reported that the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdallah Saleh, had been killed in fighting with the Houti militia. Born in Sanaa’, much of Yemen’s recent history has been bound up with former President Saleh. With[…]

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[…]