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Kick Foreign Corruption Out of the US!

Kick Foreign Corruption Out of the US!

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has released a report called “Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories,” which documents how officials in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Nigeria used the U.S. financial system to launder millions of dollars.

This is robbery at its worst — officials are taking away funds that should be used to provide valuable resources for their nations. Consider this: between 2004 and 2006, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea spent $44 million on cars and houses in the U.S. and South Africa, while the nation’s education budget for 2005 was $43 million. (Human Rights Watch)

Released in conjunction with the Subcommittee’s hearing, the 330-page report reveals how U.S. lawyers, lobbyists, real estate agents and other professionals have facilitated foreign corruption, given that, unlike banks, they are under no legal obligation to establish anti-money laundering programs, know their customers, or evaluate the source of funds transferred into the U.S. The report lists a number of recommendations, including:

  • Enact stricter standards on bank accounts of foreign officials, or “politically exposed persons” (PEPs), as outlined in the most recent World Bank report
  • Make foreign corruption a legal basis for barring entry into the U.S., and expelling corrupt PEPs from the country
  • Encourage U.S. professional organizations to issue anti-money laundering and anti-corruption guidance to their members

Director Arvind Ganesan of Human Rights Watch approves of the proposed reforms, commenting, “For too long abusive and corrupt leaders have benefitted from secrecy and lax regulation. The reforms proposed in the Senate report would make things much more transparent and make corrupt officials and their collaborators more accountable.”

Read a summary of the report here.

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70 comments

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1:21PM PDT on Apr 15, 2010

thank you

3:01PM PST on Mar 2, 2010

Unfortunately, the US has encouraged much foreign corruption, colluding with rapacious politicians so long as US corporation get their cut of the cash. A great example is tying foreign aid to purchases of expensive and unnecessary US goods.

6:20PM PST on Feb 28, 2010

Why don't I believe much will be done? Not with the Court deciding we have to give unlimited 'free speech' to corporations.
Yeah, make all the bribery legal. No wonder some of the old Abramoff clan are crawling back out from under their rocks.

6:55AM PST on Feb 24, 2010

thanks for the info

6:10AM PST on Feb 22, 2010

I think most countries enable foreign corruption. In fact, I think most of those in power are corrupt one way or another.

3:51PM PST on Feb 21, 2010

Hey US they all ready got us for this much now kick our self free of them for we will never get it back. Put more jobs back in our Country like it should be. I would like to see them stop all imports period. We didn't need them years ago did we? So why now? China continue trys to posin us. Cut the ropes and let them all go.

2:50PM PST on Feb 21, 2010

It is sad for me to admit, but I am not that surprised, afterall every other country had foreign corruption as well. The problem is that foreign corruption is at the height of our political interests and needs that if we tried to unravel it now, it would probably have global consequences.

3:57AM PST on Feb 21, 2010

thanks for the post

3:56AM PST on Feb 21, 2010

not so surprising

8:58PM PST on Feb 20, 2010

this is the last place corruption should occur dammit

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