Qatar orders arrest of finance minister over misuse of funds

Qatar’s prosecutor ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al-Emadi to question him over alleged abuse of power and misuse of public funds, a state-run news agency said. The country’s ruling emir said he’d relieved Al-Emadi of his office and entrusted his duties to the current Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali Al Kuwari, according to an announcement released hours after arrest was made public. Al-Emadi was named finance minister a day after Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took over leadership of the country in June 2013, and has held the role since. The prosecutor has launched an … Continue reading Qatar orders arrest of finance minister over misuse of funds

Bolivian minister took bag stuffed with $20,000

Police in Bolivia have arrested the minister for rural development and land, Edwin Characayo, for allegedly accepting a $20,000 (£14,500) bribe. Officers said he was caught on video taking a bag full of money in La Paz’s city centre, but his lawyer said Mr Characayo did not accept it. He said his client had been “set up”. Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo said Mr Characayo had used his position to “benefit certain people in the acquisition and clearing of land”. He alleged that Mr Characayo had promised to transfer ownership of a farm in the Santa Cruz region to a … Continue reading Bolivian minister took bag stuffed with $20,000

German MP Nikolas Löbel resigns over face mask scandal

An MP from Angela Merkel’s party has stepped down from Germany’s parliament over a scandal about the purchase of face masks during the pandemic. Nikolas Löbel announced he would leave the CDU party after it emerged that his firm had earned around €250,000 ($300,000) from the sales. He initially planned to continue as an MP but said on Monday he was stepping down with immediate effect. Another lawmaker is facing pressure over a similar case. The news comes just a week before regional elections in two German states, including Mr Löbel’s constituency of Baden-Württemberg, where the sales took place. As … Continue reading German MP Nikolas Löbel resigns over face mask scandal

Nigeria’s President names new anti-corruption chief

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a new head of the country’s anti-corruption agency, after his predecessor was dismissed over allegations of fraud including misuse of seized assets. The presidency named Abdulrasheed Bawa as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement on Tuesday. Bawa, 40, is experienced in investigating and prosecuting fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes, the statement said. Buhari first took office in 2015 and won a second term at the helm of Africa’s largest economy and top oil producer in … Continue reading Nigeria’s President names new anti-corruption chief

Judge issues arrest warrant for ExxonMobil Nigeria chief

A federal court in Abuja has signed off on a warrant to arrest the head of oil major ExxonMobil in Nigeria to compel him to appear before anti-graft investigators, a statement for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Wednesday. The EFCC said it sought the warrant after Richard Laing, managing director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, rebuffed three invitations to appear before investigators probing alleged procurement fraud involving a pipelines project. Justice Okon Abang granted the EFCC’s bench warrant application on January 29, the EFCC said. It has not charged Exxon or others with wrongdoing, and its investigation is ongoing. EFCC … Continue reading Judge issues arrest warrant for ExxonMobil Nigeria chief

Tencent fires 100 employees, blacklists 37 firms in anti-graft campaign

Tencent Holdings Ltd on Wednesday named 37 companies it had blacklisted from future contracts and said it has fired more than 100 staff over embezzlement and bribery incidents. A logo of Tencent is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) Tencent, China’s biggest social media and video games company, said in a social media post that it had reported 40 employees to authorities since it started an anti-graft campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019. In one case, an employee in its game publishing division sought benefits for outside parties and obtained kickbacks from them, Tencent said in the name … Continue reading Tencent fires 100 employees, blacklists 37 firms in anti-graft campaign

Sri Lanka jails former minister for saying judges are corrupt

An outspoken Sri Lankan opposition politician has been jailed for four years over his remarks alleging the majority of judges in the South Asian island nation were corrupt. Ranjan Ramanayake, a deputy minister of the United National Party before it was voted out in 2019, claimed he was being targeted for speaking out against corruption. The 57-year-old was sentenced on Tuesday to “rigorous imprisonment” by the Supreme Court for making the remarks in 2017 to reporters outside the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo. “We convict him for the offence of contempt of court and sentence him to four years … Continue reading Sri Lanka jails former minister for saying judges are corrupt

Mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz goes on trial in Guinea

A billionaire diamond magnate is to go on trial in Switzerland over allegations of corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea. Beny Steinmetz, who has Israeli and French nationality, has always denied his company paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea back in 2008. His lawyer says he will travel from Israel to Geneva to “plead his innocence”. If convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison. It is rare for major corruption cases to go to trial in Switzerland, where the 64-year-old is reported to be a former … Continue reading Mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz goes on trial in Guinea

China sentence tycoon Lai Xiaomin to death

The death penalty handed out to a former Chinese finance chief found guilty of corruption has been heavily criticised by human rights activists. Lai Xiaomin was arrested in 2018 on charges of taking 1.8bn yuan (£200m, $280m) in bribes over a 10-year period, it is one of the most severe sentences to stem from President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. Human Rights Watch said “China is clearly taking a major step backwards.” Chinese officials said crimes committed by Mr Lai were during his time as chairman of Huarong Asset Management. The financial firm was set up in 1999 to to take … Continue reading China sentence tycoon Lai Xiaomin to death

Israeli prosecutors detail corruption charges against Netanyahu

Israeli prosecutors have released an amended indictment spelling out detailed charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a corruption case in which he is accused of trading favours with a powerful media mogul. Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases. One of them alleges that Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the owner of the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage on its popular Walla news site. In response to a request from Netanyahu’s lawyers for more details, Israeli prosecutors released a letter on Sunday … Continue reading Israeli prosecutors detail corruption charges against Netanyahu

Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests key opposition leader

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a key opposition leader on charges of having assets higher than his known sources of income, a spokesman said. The arrest of Khawaja Asif, who served as foreign minister in the government of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, comes days after the opposition asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign until January 31 or face prolonged protests in the capital Islamabad. Pakistani opposition parties have been holding rallies across the country to pressure Khan to resign over his alleged failure to improve the country’s economy. In a brief statement, Nawazish Ali, … Continue reading Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests key opposition leader

About 3,000 Chinese expelled from Philippines amid $830m visa scam

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced the deportation of nearly 3,000 “erring Chinese” nationals for violating the conditions of their stay. The announcement is seen as an act of damage control after President Rodrigo Duterte administration officials were accused of selling visas in a multimillion-dollar scheme, earlier, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed that in 2017, Duterte-appointed officials amassed as much as 40 billion Philippine pesos ($833m) in bribes, mostly from Chinese nationals who wanted a seamless visa approval upon their arrival in the capital Manila. On Tuesday, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that a total of 2,736 Chinese … Continue reading About 3,000 Chinese expelled from Philippines amid $830m visa scam