By Luke Balleny
Reporting on corruption can be tough because it is something that must happen in the shadows, away from prying eyes. Even in countries with high levels of corruption, most officials aren’t willing to ask for bribes in public or in front of a camera - which suggests that they know it’s wrong, even though they continue to do it.
That is why this amateur video is so enlightening and also so shocking. The original has been circulating on Burmese Facebook for a few weeks, but French news website France24 has repackaged it and posted it on YouTube.
The video shows traffic police in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, flagging down public buses as they pass on the street and extracting cash bribes before allowing them on their way.
Myanmar was perceived to be the second most corrupt country in the world in Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index. Somalia and North Korea were ranked joint bottom in the index.