UNODC’s Cesar Guedes reveals huge corruption figure in developing world

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ISLAMABAD: Representative of UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Pakistan Cesar Guedes has revealed that approximately $40 billion siphoned off via corruption practices in the developing countries.

This was stated by Representative of UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Pakistan Cesar Guedes during an interview in Islamabad, coinciding with International Anti-Corruption Day being observed the world over today.

Guedes urged that the national governments must increase their efforts to eliminate the corrupt practices.

He said an anti-corruption treaty called UN Convention against Corruption came into force in 2005. He said 171 members of the UN have already become state parties to this convention and Pakistan also became a member in 2005.

He said the convention has four broad aims including, preventing corruption within countries, criminalization and punishment of perpetrators, promoting international cooperation and confiscation and recovery of assets of perpetrators.

About the chronic nature of corruption, Cesar Guedes said this evil is endemic especially in some developing countries and North-South cooperation as well as South-North cooperation is needed to stem this ill.

On a question, he said around 10 percent of the siphoned off money has been identified and is now being tracked globally. He admitted difficulties in tracking the money looted through corruption due to advanced technological practices by the perpetrators including internet banking, use of cash cards and off-shore banking. He said these hurdles would have to be removed by the governments.

Country representative of UN Office on Drugs said the UNODC is increasing cooperation with other organizations dealing with money laundering and countries are being ranked in terms of how good or bad they are in dealing with corruption issues. He said many island states and tax havens in the Caribbean and the Pacific are now complying with the international bodies to stop the inflow of illegal money into their banks.

He said private sector, civil society and media also need to be an active part of anti-corruption drive. He hoped that National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan will play an active and key role in stemming the corruption in Pakistan.

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