Posted Friday October 16, 2015

France criticised for lack of foreign bribery enforcement, Hong Kong cracks down on syndicates, and more

  • Kyrgyz Defense Minister Abibilla Kudaiberdiev has been removed from his post after being charged with embezzling $175,000 from the ministerial budget for personal gain. The minister denies the charges and stated he was planning to sue Kyrgyzstan’s Corruption Control Service.

  • A police crackdown on Hong Kong syndicates has resulted in a large increase in the number of serious fraud cases involving money laundering. Nine cases in the first half of 2015 involved laundering of HK$456m: almost double the value of the whole of 2014.

  • An Australian government taskforce to tackle serious financial crime has recovered $85m in the three months since it was established. A key focus of the unit is tackling ‘phoenix activity’: the transfer of assets from debt-laden companies to new companies in order to avoid tax or debt repayments.

And finally, AFP’s Eric Randolph discusses how France has failed to successfully convict any companies under foreign bribery legislation since signing the OECD’s Convention Against Foreign Bribery in 1999. Despite being a leading advocate for the convention, the country has only charged a single company (Safran), but the conviction was overturned on appeal. Recent statements from the OECD noted France’s establishment of a National Financial Prosecutor as a positive step, but expressed concern over the “lack of proactivity of the authorities in cases which involve French companies in established facts or allegations of foreign bribery”.

Arachnys update

New sources: 53

Source of the week: K-Monitor is a Hungarian anti-corruption grassroots NGO founded in 2007. It operates open data websites, conducts research and engages in anti-corruption advocacy as well developing digital tools through which public expenses become trackable.

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