Corruption News

News about corruption activity worldwide. For key statistics and information, visit our What is Corruption? page.

According to a study released by Transparency International, 72 percent of Cambodians reported paying a bribe to officials in order to receive basic services in 2006.

Source:  Samantha Power, “The Enforcer,” New Yorker, January 19, 2009.

Through the use of threats and bribes, Mexican drug trafficking cartels are believed to either influence or control up to 72 percent of all municipalities in Mexico, according to Edgardo Buscaglia, a professor of law and economics at both Columbia University and Mexico’s ITAM University.

Source: Joel Millman and Jose De Cordoba, “Drug-Cartel Links Haunt an Election South of Border,” Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2009.

Corruption in the U.S. city of Chicago costs its taxpayers over $500 million a year.

: “The Cost of Corruption in Illinois: $500 Million a Year,” Chicago PublicSource Radio, May 14, 2009.


In hospitals in Romania, patients are forced to pay bribes of up to 5,000 Euros ($6,500) to receive a brain surgery and up to 100 Euros to get an appendix removed.

In total, the World Health Organization estimates that up to $360 Million a year is paid out in “informal payments” for medical procedures in Romania.

(Price of bribes paid around the world.)


The New York Times reported on the level of corruption in Afghanistan, stating that if a person wanted to become a provincial police chief, all the person needed was to  pay $100,000 in bribes.

Source: Dexter Filkins, “Afghan corruption: Everything for sale,” New York Times, January 2, 2009.

According to the Washington Post, corrupt Mexican Customs Officials can earn up to $1 million for allowing large shipments of guns to be smuggled into Mexico.

(More income and profits from illegal jobs.)

Source: Manuel Roig-Franzia, “U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killing in Mexico,” Washington Post, October 29, 2007.

According to estimates provided by the World Bank Institute, over $1 Trillion is paid in bribes around the world each year.

Source: “The Costs of Corruption,” World Bank News and Broadcasts, April 8, 2004.