Transparency International Launches "Unmask the Corrupt" Campaign

Transparency International (TI) says it will impose social sanctions on the world’s nine most symbolic cases of grand corruption as voted by the public in its new campaign, Unmask the Corrupt.

viktor yanukovychViktor Yanukovych“The nine cases were chosen based on popular voting by the public and also because of their widespread impact on human rights,” a TI spokesperson wrote to OCCRP via email. The campaign will focus attention on “the less visible side of grand corruption, such as laws allowing [for] anonymous companies and those who facilitate corrupt deals.”

According to a news release by TI, the campaign faced a vote-rigging problem during the online election process. The organization found fake registrations for votes cast by unknown parties in an attempt to manipulate the vote.

“Lying, cheating, stealing and fraud are the tools of the corrupt. We want to pursue sanctions against as many of these cases as possible. We cannot single out just one case, they all must be dealt with,” said Transparency International Chair José Ugaz in response to the attempted vote fraud.

The nine top cases selected for the campaign include:

  • Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who earned the most votes, for looting millions in state assets and transferring them to private hands as well as owning property worth far above his official salary.
  • International football association FIFA for 81 money laundering investigations and whose officials are accused of stealing millions.
  • The Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation for extracting up to US$ 60 million per month from the people of Chechnya while 80 percent of the population lives in abject poverty.
  • Ousted Tunisian President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, accused of looting Tunisia of US$ 2.6 billion.
  • Dominican Republican Senator Felix Bautista, who allegedly enriched himself with state funds and whose connections make him appear untouchable.
  • The US state of Delaware for allowing the anonymous registration of companies and failing to collect data on the true owners with secrecy rules which make it a hub for money launderers and other corrupt individuals seeking to hide assets.
  • Lebanon’s political system for high levels of bribery and service delivery failures that risk the lives of its citizens.
  • Ex-Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and his allies for allegedly embezzling US$ 100 million from the country.
  • Brazil’s state-owned oil major Petrobras for providing US$ 2 billion in bribes to politicians while cutting tens of thousands of jobs.

Beginning yesterday, Feb. 10, TI began imposing social sanctions on the international football association FIFA and Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation.

The organization is calling on the public to use social media to spread #StopKadyrov on Instagram, apparently President Ramzan Kadyrov’s favourite social media platform. TI also launched a Thunderclap social media campaign to ask the European Union to extend sanctions against Kadyrov, which are set to expire this July.

The campaign will continue with social sanctions on the other cases soon, according to TI’s press office.