– US$4B recovered so far
Two oil producing nations have recently demonstrated to the world that when it comes to the fight against corruption, not even their ex-leaders will be spared.
Just four days ago, Bloomberg reported that the authorities in Sudan were able to successfully confiscate assets valued at US$4 billion from former President Omar al-Bashir, his family members and associates.
Salah Manaa, a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption and Regime Dismantling Committee, said that the assets confiscated included land, shares in different companies and buildings. The Committee was praised highly for successfully taking a significant bite out of Bashir’s wealth. The former leader, who was overthrown by the army a year ago amid mass protests against his three-decade rule, was jailed in December after being found guilty of illicitly possessing millions of dollars in foreign currencies, and has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the western region of Darfur.
Sudan’s anticorruption body was only set up only late last year and is trying desperately to purge remnants of the Bashir regime which left the country deeply entrenched in corruption. In Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, Sudan shares an infamous 173rd rank (out of 180) with Equatorial Guinea.
Over in Papua New Guinea, Bloomberg reported that former Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has been charged with misappropriation, official corruption and abuse of office.
O’Neill, who denies the allegations, was arrested at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby on Saturday last after flying back from Australia, where he’d been stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Police say the case against O’Neill relates to the purchase of two generators for more than A$20 million (US$13 million) from Israel when he was leading the country. Assistant Commissioner of Crimes Hodges Ette said in a statement that O’Neill directed payments for the purchase of the generators without due consideration for procurement processes, without approval of parliament and without a tender process.
O’Neill said in a statement the case was “highly politicized” and that he looked forward to his day in court so the injustice could be “corrected and exposed.”
O’Neill had resigned as Prime Minister in May last year after facing a potential no-confidence motion due to dissatisfaction over a recently signed natural-gas agreement with France’s Total SA, which sparked a wave of ministerial resignations.
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