On the Money Trail - Feb. 5

by Luke Balleny | http://www.twitter.com/LBalleny | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 5 February 2014 18:05 GMT

Corruption in the news

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A lucrative job...

BANGKOK - Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) revealed details of asset disclosures by 491 ex-members of parliament whose terms finished when the House of Representatives was dissolved in December, Asia News Network reports. Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had Bt603 million ($23.35m) in assets and Bt28 million in liabilities, and since she took office her assets had increased by more than Bt50 million ($1.94 million), the broadcaster said.

Italian authorities clean up...

Italy’s financial police have arrested multimillionaire businessman Giovanni De Pierro, whose companies specialize mainly in cleaning contracts and industrial maintenance, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reports. De Pierro is charged with embezzlement, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, and tax offences in Spain, the news website said. Authorities have seized his assets in London, Luxembourg, Belgium, Costa Rica and the British Virgin Islands, and value them at around $ 370 million, the OCCRP added.

UK Bribery Act tinkering

LONDON - Companies and banks that fail to prevent financial crime by their staff could be blacklisted from European contracts under a change to the Bribery Act being considered by the UK government, The Daily Telegraph reports. A proposed amendment put forward by the head of the Serious Fraud Office would enable the SFO to levy US-style fines and brand the firms with the stigma of abetting bribery. Any such move would be controversial because a bribery conviction would bar companies from bidding for certain contracts under EU rules, the newspaper said.

Honest contractors in Chicago ….

The Chicago City Council votes on Wednesday to require city contractors to self-report corruption, a proposal Mayor Rahm Emanuel lauds as a “key reform,”  the Chicago Tribune reports.  Under the measure, a contractor’s “knowing failure to report corrupt activity” could result in the city terminating the company’s contract.

Honesty campaign in Oman ….

Oman is stepping up its anti-corruption campaign. The chief executive of its National Gas Company has been arrested on suspicion of bribing a government official, the company confirmed on Wednesday according to Reuters.  In January, a government official and two private sector executives were sentenced to up to three years’ jail. They were among more than 20 government officials and private executives who have gone on trial for bribery mostly in infrastructure projects.  

Make politics pay ……….

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy has an idea for combating corruption in government – pay politicians corporate-sized salaries.  Speaking at the inaugural lecture of the DD Kosambi festival of ideas on Tuesday, Murthy said "By not paying them the salaries and incentives they deserve for the hard work expected of them, we are unwittingly pushing them to do things they shouldn't be doing," the Times of India reports.  

Make it hard to play ….

The U.S. Treasury announced on Wednesday it was blocking the assets and property of the Haqqani Network, which it alleges acts on behalf of the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in order to disrupt its activities and financing.   


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