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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Watchdog seeks ways to expose more corruption

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Watchdog seeks ways to expose more corruption

QĐND – Thursday, June 10, 2010, 21:1 (GMT+7)

The Central Committee for Preventing and Fighting Corruption held a symposium in Hanoi on June 6 to improve the detection and handling of corruption cases.

The Vietnamese Party and State have always given high priority to combating corruption. The Party’s resolution on this and the Law on anti-corruption have paved the way for driving down corruption in recent years.

From 2007 to April 2010, there were 1,070 corruption cases with 2,500 defendants tried, and more than 1,000 cases involving over 2,300 defendants being investigated or awaiting trial.

These cases have revealed many shortcomings and loopholes in economic and staff management as well as in laws and policies. Over the past three years, the inspection sector has discovered many financial violations involving more than VND15 trillion, over US$1.5 million and more than 22.800ha of land. The inspectors have advised the State to confiscate VND9.87 billion, nearly US$ 700,000 and nearly 9,000ha of land. Meanwhile, the State Audit has launched 360 audits, uncovering financial violations totalling as much as VND28.9 trillion.

However, symposium participants said the discovery of these corruption cases mainly came through letters of denunciation and efforts by relevant agencies and the prosecution of some serious cases was stalled or not conducted in a rigorous way.

Representatives from investigative agencies, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Supreme People’s Court, the Government Inspectorate, the Hanoi Police and several provinces attributed these difficulties to gaps and inconsistencies in laws and guidelines, which result in different understandings and applications between the procuracy and law enforcement agencies, as well as to poor coordination among them.

The symposium also highlighted the role, responsibility, experience and capacity of the heads of party committees and local governments in dealing with corruption cases.

The participants recommended that the National Assembly revise a number of laws regarding detecting and tackling corruption and that the Justice Ministry implement a project to improve the effectiveness of judicial assessment and judicial translation. They said international cooperation should be strengthened to fight corruption involving foreigners.

Addressing the symposium, Deputy PM Truong Vinh Trong said it’s essential to strongly and effectively strike at corruption, and to increase the severity of penalties for this crime.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Cuban academic says corruption island’s big threat

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

Corruption at the highest levels of government — not the meddling of a small band of dissidents — is the greatest threat to Cuba’s communist system, a leading academic said in a highly unusual opinion posted Thursday on a state Web site.

The article by Esteban Morales — a historian who has written extensively on race and relations with the United States — crossed a number of red lines in tightly controlled Cuba, including openly discussing corruption rumors surrounding the dismissal of a top government aviation official who had fought alongside Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the Castros in the 1950s.

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with Cuba’s President Raul Castro upon arrival to Jose Marti airport in Havana, early Thursday, April 15, 2010

Morales said some top Cuban officials are preparing to divide the spoils if Cuba’s political system disintegrates, like the shadowy oligarchs that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

“In reality, corruption is much more dangerous than so-called internal dissent,” Morales wrote in the piece, which appeared on the Web site of the state National Artists and Writers Union of Cuba. “The latter is isolated … but corruption is truly counterrevolutionary because it comes from within the government and the state apparatus, which are the ones that really control the country’s resources.”

Members of the artists union have been surprisingly critical of the government in the past, but often with little effect. Criticism can also appear in government newspapers, but rarely on such hot-button issues as corruption among senior officials.

Morales is a prominent intellectual who only Monday appeared on a state television program defending the government on another topic. The frank assessment on the Web site went far further than what is normally tolerated.

Morales never singled out Fidel or Raul Castro for blame, but he said cronyism is rampant in the system that has developed 51 years after their revolution won power and said some officials are waiting for a chance to grab the country’s resources.

“It has become evident that there are people in government and state positions who are preparing a financial assault for when the revolution falls,” Morales wrote. “Others likely have everything ready to produce the transfer of state property into private hands, like what happened in the former Soviet Union.”

Meanwhile, the government early Friday announced preliminary results of an autopsy on Roberto Baudrand, a top Chilean executive who was found dead in his Havana apartment on Monday after being detained by Cuban authorities investigating his company, which is owned by a businessman who was a close friend of Fidel Castro. The autopsy revealed that Baudrand died of a lack of oxygen, and that unnamed drugs and alcohol were found in his blood, the government said in a statement sent to foreign journalists.

It did not say whether the death was considered a suicide, but noted that the investigation would continue.

Chile’s diplomats have pushed Cuban officials for information on the businessman’s death.

Baudrand, 59, was general manager of Alimentos Rio Zaza SA and served as liaison in Cuba for Max Marambio, the former head bodyguard of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende, who was toppled in a 1973 military coup. The company makes “Tropical Island” brand juices and other food products sold in hard-currency stores catering to foreigners and tourists. The company is joint-owned by Cuba’s government and Marambio, but has been shuttered for months as part of an investigation.

In his scathing opinion piece, Morales brought up another prominent case — the abrupt March 9 firing of veteran revolutionary Rogelio Acevedo, who had overseen the country’s airlines and airports since the 1980s. The government gave no reason for his dismissal, but the island has been awash with speculation that he has been placed under house arrest for corruption.

Exile Web sites have reported that a large amount of cash was found hidden at Acevedo’s house and that he is suspected of operating a private airline, among other things. The government has not commented on the allegations.

“There must be some truth to these reports, because this is a small country where everyone knows each other,” Morales wrote of the speculation over Acevedo. He said the government owed people a fuller account because the same sort of corruption is happening in other state-run institutions.

“Whether it be to vindicate or condemn Acevedo, the people must be told what happened,” he said.

While complaints of low-level corruption are not uncommon in state media, allegations of wide-scale, top-level malfeasance are very unusual and the fall of party officials has usually been seen as an anomaly rather than a symptom of broader rot.

When Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Vice President Carlos Lage were dismissed last year, Fidel Castro wrote that “the honey of power … awoke in them ambitions that led to an undignified role.”

Officials gave few public details of what they had done wrong, though Communist Party members said they were shown a video showing both making disparaging comments about the government and Miami journalist Maria Elvira Salazar released photos showing them partying with a Spanish business representative.

Morales appeared to refer to that case Thursday, when he complained of “favoritism, cronyism, certain acts of corruption” that led to information being passed to Spanish intelligence.

Source: SGGP

Government signs on students, teachers for corruption fight

In Vietnam Education on December 7, 2009 at 3:49 am

The Prime Minister has approved the introduction of anti-corruption studies at several kinds of educational institutions to increase the awareness and responsibility of officials, teachers, and students in fighting graft.

The syllabuses for schools, colleges, and universities as well as schools of administration and professional management for Party, Government, and social and political workers, and military academies are expected to be changed by 2011.

It is expected to highlight the harmful effects of corruption and shape the attitude of students towards it.

The Government plans to improve the capacity of teachers to serve the anti-corruption efforts.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Afghan President seeks unity, vows to fight corruption

In World on November 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to combat corruption and invited his chief rival to join the government after he was sworn in for a second term on Thursday, facing Western pressure to restore legitimacy as a US-led war stretches into a ninth year.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai kisses a large copy the Koran during his swearing in ceremony as the country’s president for another five years at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2009. (AFP Photo)

Karzai took the oath of office with a Taliban insurgency killing record numbers of Western troops and Afghans and limiting government control in growing parts of the country after his fraud-tainted re-election.

“Corruption is a dangerous problem,” he said in an address delivered before an audience of visiting foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at his heavily fortified presidential palace.

“We will soon organise a conference in Kabul to organise new and effective ways to combat this problem,” he said.

Karzai also invited his chief rival Abdullah Abdullah into a government of national unity, and pledged action to fight drugs and create jobs.

“We have to learn from our mistakes and shortcomings of the last eight years,” the 51-year-old Karzai said, wearing a traditional hat and colourful cape.

After eight years of war and instability, the West has been pushing Karzai to commit to concrete reforms to clean up his government and restore trust.

Clinton, in Kabul for the first time as secretary of state, said the nation faced a “critical moment”.

“There is now a clear window of opportunity for President Karzai and his government to make a compact with the people of Afghanistan,” she said on the eve of Thursday’s ceremony.

Washington has increasingly expressed concerns about Karzai’s reliability as a US ally and effective head of state, urging his government to eradicate corruption to counter an intensifying Taliban-led insurgency.

Clinton has directly linked future levels of military and financial aid — on which impoverished and war-torn Afghanistan depends — to progress in eradicating official corruption.

Yet the United States and NATO — with 100,000 soldiers fighting the Taliban and leaders deciding whether to dispatch tens of thousands of extra troops in a last-ditch effort to win the war — have little choice but to work with Karzai.

President Barack Obama has said his decision on strengthening the US deployment is close and that he was weeks away from unveiling a war strategy review, a decision made no easier by Afghanistan’s disputed August election.

Obama’s administration has warned Afghans that America’s military commitment there, more than eight years after the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime and swept Karzai to power, will not be “open-ended”.

Leading rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Karzai to now sever his links with warlords and abusers of human rights.

Karzai should “prioritise human rights and the rule of law… to strengthen the country’s stability and security,” said Amnesty.

Scepticism about his willingness to comply with conditions for continued Western support will be difficult to dispel, particularly with Vice President Mohammed Fahim accused of human rights abuses and drug trafficking, in his administration.

The Afghan capital was on high alert for Taliban attacks to coincide with the inauguration, with many foreign employees of embassies, the United Nations and aid groups ordered to remain indoors.

Armed police and paramilitary units patrolled most roads and intersections while army, police and intelligence threw a ring of steel around the city.

Few cars were on the mostly closed roads and pedestrians were being stopped at checkpoints set up for the day.

Kabul has been the scene of a series of massive suicide car bomb attacks that have killed around 100 people in the last three months alone.

To many Afghans, Karzai’s presidency lacks legitimacy, his government lacks authority and the way in which he took the presidency lacks credibility.

“Karzai has to earn political capital because he has none left,” one diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Karzai was declared re-elected on November 2 by his own officials after a UN-backed commission found nearly a third of votes cast for Karzai on August 20 were fraudulent and his challenger Abdullah Abdullah abandoned a run-off.

In 2004, Karzai won Afghanistan’s first presidential election with 55.4 percent of the vote.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

PM takes a tough stance against corruption

In Politics-Society on October 14, 2009 at 4:26 am

PM takes a tough stance against corruption

QĐND – Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 21:4 (GMT+7)

Legal documents on combating corruption in areas such as taxation, land management, public spending and investments should be finalised to improve the efficiency of the fight.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung emphasized this when assigning the task to the Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control at its 11th session in Hanoi on October 13.

He asked relevant agencies and localities to pay special attention to certain areas which are often sensitive and conductive to corruptive behaviour.

He acknowledged practical results from combating corruption in recent months, which have significantly contributed to the implementation of the country’s socio-economic development tasks. 

The PM emphasised the importance of both preventing and combating corruption, saying the fight should be carried out in a determined, synchronous and lawful manner. 

He spoke of the need to enhance communications, train those involved in the fight, compliment exemplary role models and deal harshly with individuals and organisations that break the law or show irresponsibility towards the fight.

He asked provincial and municipal anti-corruption committees to make a list of graft scandals in their localities and to closely monitor and strictly prosecute corruption cases by law.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

VN, Japan determined to bring corruption to light

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – On Oct. 14, Vietnam ’s Foreign Ministry spokesman provided the press with information regarding the visit by a Japanese delegation relating to alleged corruption involving Pacific Consultants International (PCI).

Spokesman Le Dung reported that a delegation from the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Department for International Cooperation, led by Kitera Masato spent September 18 and 19 working alongside relevant Vietnamese agencies on the PCI case.

He said that during those working sessions, the Vietnamese and Japanese officials underlined the fact that their governments are taking the allegations over the PCI case seriously.

The Japanese delegation informed the Vietnamese officials of a number of allegations made by relevant Japanese agencies against PCI and four ex-PCI managers relating to misuse of Japanese ODA in Vietnam .

The two governments reiterated the fact that any cases of corruption relating to ODA-funded projects, including this suspected case, will be investigated thoroughly, leaving no stone unturned.

The Vietnamese and Japanese governments reasserted their determination to combat corruption linked to ODA, said spokesman Dung.

The two governments said they were ready to work together closely so that urgent measures to tackle corruption relating to ODA-funded projects, including establishing a Vietnam-Japan cooperation committee for prevention and fight of corruption in Japan ’s ODA-financed projects in Vietnam , will be implemented.

The Japanese Government is committed to reinforcing its assistance to Vietnam in the fight against corruption relating to ODA-funded projects, including a range of activities to help perfect the legal system and to assure greater transparency in the tender process for ODA-backed projects in Vietnam, added Dung.-