On the Money Trail - Nov 27
KUALA LUMPUR - The independence of anti-graft bodies and their powers to prosecute are vital for combating widespread corruption, an Indonesian lawmaker said, the Sun Daily reports. Indonesia's Parti Demokrat president, Anas Urbaningrum, said these elements have been the reason for the success of the republic's Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK), which was recently lauded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
NEW DELHI - India’s public soul-searching over the pervasiveness of corruption in society took centre stage again with the formal launch of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), formed on an explicit anti-corruption platform, Time magazine reports. On Monday, whistleblower turned politician Arvind Kejriwal officially kicked off the new party, which he will lead in the greater capital region’s elections next year. AAP is the latest in a string of groups pledging to battle the corruption that many say is endemic in India’s halls of power, but the first promising to take the fight inside those halls.
KATSINA, Nigeria - President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to correct "the lingering perception of corruption and fraud" in the service, the Daily Trust reports. Speaking during the 2012 Annual Comptroller General of Customs Conference in Katsina yesterday, Jonathan said the NCS’s monthly revenue generation had tripled from N30 billion to N100 billion.
SYDNEY - A witness denied he was coached on his evidence for a corruption inquiry by an associate of former New South Wales Labor minister Eddie Obeid, ABC news reports. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating allegations Obeid's family bought farms because they stood to make a profit of $100 million from inside knowledge about mining licences. .
BEIJING - A five-year-old sex tape of an 18-year-old woman allegedly hired by developers to sleep with a Chongqing city official is causing yet another scandal for China's ruling Communists in the city formerly led by fallen politician Bo Xilai, the Associated Press reports. The official, Lei Zhengfu, was fired from his position as district party secretary after the video, an apparent extortion attempt, went viral earlier this month and his jowly, pop-eyed face became the butt of numerous Internet caricatures. But the scandal may still be growing, as a whistleblowing former journalist says he may release similar tapes of more city officials soon.
SYDNEY – An internal police report into allegations of corrupt behaviour by high-ranking officers in New South Wales (NSW) will be kept secret after a review found it ''fundamentally flawed'', the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Police Integrity Commission Inspector, David Levine, was asked by the NSW government to review whether the report compiled by Strike Force Emblems in 2004, should be made public. Police Minister Michael Gallacher on Tuesday said the Emblems report and its recommendations would not be released after Justice Levine found the report, and the investigation into the allegations, were of an ''unsatisfactory standard''.
BOGOTA - Bogota's jailed ex mayor faces two new charges amid allegations of corruption during his time in office, according to news website Colombia Reports. Samuel Moreno, who was suspended from office in May 2011 and arrested in September 2011, faces two more charges; conspiracy and embezzlement. He is already fighting a trial in which he is accused of being a member of a group of politicians, lawyers and private business owners accused of rigging the distribution of public works contracts in Bogota.
MOSCOW - The criminal investigation into Yevgenia Vasilyeva, the official at the heart of the corruption scandal that ostensibly brought down Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, has hit an odd stumbling block, The Moscow Times reports. Her allegedly lavish 13-room apartment in central Moscow isn't where it's supposed to be. The residence, which police searched last month and where media reports have said she is under house arrest, may not have been correctly registered. Investigators are trying to determine whether Vasilyeva, former head of the Defence Ministry's property department, acquired the apartment and other expensive properties legally.