Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Growth Industry

Palm grease:

Corrupt Russian officials are estimated to take bribes of US $240 billion a year, an amount almost equal to the state’s entire revenues, a senior prosecutor said in an interview with the government daily printed Tuesday.

Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta that prosecutors had uncovered over 9,000 cases of bribery in the first eight months of the year.

....The global anti-corruption group Transparency International and Russia’s business-funded National Anti-Corruption Committee last year estimated that the level of graft had jumped as much as sevenfold since 2001.

Russia is near the top of Transparency International’s scale of corruption, at No. 121 out of 163 in 2006, along with such countries as Rwanda and Burundi. Four years ago, it had been rated 71. On that scale, the least corrupt is Finland, while Haiti and Myanmar occupy the top two places.

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