Only 7 of 38 countries signed up to the OECD anti-bribery convention and are actively investigating and prosecuting companies for bribing foreign officials. This situation has shown no signs of improvement for two years.
At the height of the financial crisis in 2009, the G20 promised to tackle bank secrecy and tax havens, but little is done to control whether tax havens actually provide information and legal assistance to tax authorities.
Governments are required to pursue enhanced due diligence on “Politically Exposed Persons” regardless of whether they hold an office or have fallen in disgrace. In June, the UK Financial Services Authority issued a report warning that less than half of UK banks do this.Tens of billions of Libyan assets have been frozen throughout western economies. Switzerland alone says that it has frozen US$ 1 billion of assets from North African countries.
Transparency International France has spent years in French courts trying to get Congolese, Equatorial Guinean, Tunisian leaders’ assets frozen and investigated.
If “rogue states” “depart from the rules applied by other states”, how should we name states that fail to sign up, enforce or live by international anti-corruption laws?
Transparency can be a powerful tool against those who are putting profit before integrity. Governments who fail to take these steps, steps which they have already agreed to, are complicit in creating impunity not only for the corrupt rulers who steal their country’s resources, but the financial experts, lawyers, agents who aid and abet them.