Many people are working to counter the threat posed by kleptocracies. Meet the journalists, lawmakers, and NGOs dedicated to fighting pervasive corruption and unraveling the secretive world of offshore finance.
U.S. Department of Justice Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative
The Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative utilizes investigation and litigation to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption. Recent successes include a $480M forfeiture of illicit assets held by a former Nigerian dictator and a $30M settlement against Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang.
“Stopping the Financial Sector Fueling Corruption” is one of the four main missions Global Witness pursues. Through investigative reports such as “Undue Diligence: How Banks Do Business with Corrupt Regimes,” Global Witness seeks to provide compelling evidence for stronger anti-money laundering regulations to combat corruption.
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
Associated with the Center for Public Integrity, the ICIJ reports on various features of kleptocracy: cross-border crime, corruption, and the unaccountability of power. In addition, the ICIJ investigates the abuse of tax havens and the enabling role of offshore financial services providers. Check out ICIJ’s report on offshore companies and high-level Chinese officials or their database of beneficial ownership information in ten offshore secrecy jurisdictions.
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
The OCCRP is a nonprofit organization that connects investigative centers with independent journalists to “help the people of the region better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.” In 2014, the OCCRP and The Independent uncovered a $20 billion operation that used nineteen UK-based front companies and banks in Russia, Moldova, and Latvia to launder money stolen by corrupt officials or earned by the activities of organized criminals.
TI works to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society. Check out the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, an annual report that tracks perceived levels of public sector corruption around the world.