Weekly news – 20 April 2018
This week began on a sombre note with vigils in London, Berlin, Brussels, Valetta and elsewhere to mark sixth months since Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally murdered by a car bomb.
There’s no doubt that she was killed because of her courageous investigative journalism, much of which focussed on corruption and organised crime in her home country.
Now, a group of 45 journalists from 18 organisations in 15 countries led by Forbidden Stories, and facilitated by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, have teamed up to form The Daphne Project and keep her reporting alive.
The Project has published details of the investigation into her killing – whoever ordered it may still be at large – and shown that Daphne had been probing Malta’s Golden Visa programme, arguing it was riddled with cronyism, bribery and kickbacks.
Reporters have obtained a confidential government report that alleges that three Russian applicants, who ultimately obtained Golden Visas in 2016, paid over US$200,000 in bribes to an offshore company that, according to reporters, is directed by a business associate of the Prime Minister of Malta. This example points to just one of several corruption risks posed by these types of Golden Visa programmes: discretionary decision-making and political capture.
It also highlights another corruption risk that we’ve been talking a lot about over the past few years: money laundering. All over the world, anonymously owned companies make corrupt deals far too easy to pull off. This week we released a report showing how the G20 nations still have a long way to go to end secrecy around company ownership. Until they do, they will continue to facilitate the flow of corrupt cash through their borders.
News from Transparency International
The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? The G20 adopted Beneficial Ownership Principles in 2014 to tackle the problem. Our new report shows that some progress has been made, but that the pace of change is too slow – and the G20 countries are suffering for it.
Our Managing Director Patricia Moreira will be on a panel with Christine Lagarde and others to share experiences with successful anti-corruption initiatives, debate the international facilitation of corruption and tax evasion and discuss how the IMF can contribute and help to mend the trust divide.
9:45 AM – 11:00 Washington, DC time / 13:45 – 15:00 GMT
New on Voices for Transparency
By Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Armenia
In the last several days, thousands of citizens marched in the Armenian capital of Yerevan to protest the actions of former President Serzh Sargsyan, who after finishing his second and final term in office earlier this month, is now Prime Minister.
Key takeaways from Transparency International’s new guide on civil society and anti-corruption collective action
By Mirna Adjami, Project Manager, Anti-Corruption Collective Action at Basel Institute on Governance
How can more civil society organisations get involved in anti-corruption collective action, and in what capacity? These are the questions that Transparency International addresses in its new publication, Collective Action on Business Integrity: A Practitioner’s Guide for Civil Society Organisations.
Source: Transparency International
The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? The G20 adopted Beneficial Ownership Principles in 2014 to tackle the problem.