Kleptocracy Daily: April 17, 2017

A new documentary on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Hunting the KGB Killerswill premiere today on Britain’s Channel 4.

News

The House Intelligence Committee sent one of its members to the Mediterranean country where Wilbur Ross, Paul Manafort, and sanction-dodging oligarchs have all had money – Cyprus. (The Daily Beast)

A mysterious Turkish organization gave a former U.S. homeland security adviser a $400,000 contract to improve public perceptions of Turkey, deepening questions about the country’s attempts to influence U.S. politics and the limited transparency surrounding them. (The Daily Beast)

South Korean prosecutors indicted its former president on 18 charges including bribery and coercion, taking aim at the central figure in a corruption scandal that has led to more than 30 indictments of high-profile government and business figures, including Samsung Group’s de facto leader. (WSJ)

New FEC documents show that Trump’s re-election campaign and joint party committees continued to direct funds to his companies in the first quarter of the year, paying close to $500,000 to Trump-owned hotels, golf clubs and restaurants. (WSJ)

More than £6 million from funds at the center of a giant fraud which was being investigated by Sergei Magnitsky has allegedly been traced to a UK bank account held by Renaissance Capital. (The Telegraph)

Ukraine could miss out on energy sector funding from China worth up to $3.65 billion because squabbles between ministries and the state-run energy firm Naftogaz have held up project proposals. (Reuters)

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oil tycoon jailed by the Kremlin, has called on supporters to back the presidential bid of anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny in next year’s election. (RFE/RL)

A man on China’s list of 100 most wanted corruption suspects abroad has given himself up and returned to China after almost a decade on the run in Canada. (Reuters)

Features

“The weakness of [Xi’s] corruption crackdown [is that] among the elite, the campaign touches only those who are already on the losing side of factional power struggles.”
New York Times piece in which a Chinese billionaire who argues that corruption in China is greater than imagined.

As Trump pegs a former trade lobbyist to lead trade policy, The Daily Beast believes that the Trump administration isn’t ‘draining the swamp’ so much as it is boosting its preferred special interests.

The Washington Post makes an argument to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson why American taxpayers should, in fact, care about Ukraine.

A small house in Wyoming highlights an often overlooked link between post-Soviet kleptocrats and American entities – one that has been only reinforced by actions of American officials in Washington and many state houses.

An op-ed in the Moscow Times argues that Russian corruption is among the world’s worst — and it’s here to stay.