Corruption News

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

The cost of corruption in Saudi Arabia is estimated to cost the Kingdom up to $14.6 Billion (55 Billion Saudi Riyal) a year. In an example of the type of graft occurring in Saudi Arabia, one employee of the Education Department reportedly embezzled nearly $40 Million (150 Million Riyal) in government funds.

Across the entire Arab region, the effects of corruption is estimated to cost states $350 Billion.

Source:  “Corruption costs state SR55 billion a year,” Saudi Gazette, January 2, 2014.

According to media reports, doctors and other medical professionals looking to work in Romanian hospitals must pay a bribe in order to gain employment. The price of the bribe paid is determined on an unofficial sliding scale depending on the location of the hospital.

One pediatrician reported that to receive employment at a hospital in a town with 9,000 residents would cost $20,000 (€15,000). The same position in a city with a population of 105,000 would cost $27,000 (€20,000), and in a city with 250,000 residents the bribe would be $40,000 (€30,000).

(More prices of bribes around the world.)

The bribe money is split between the hospital administrators and senior doctors.

A survey of 1,000 people in Romania found that over 60 percent of respondents offered bribes to medical professionals. Many patients freely pay bribes to their doctors hoping to secure the best possible treatment. Some patients have reportedly become distressed when  a doctor refuses the bribe, thinking that their condition must be incurable.

A resident doctor working at a public hospital earns about $271 (€200) a month. A specialist at the hospital earns about $680 (€500) a month.

(Additional types of corruption worldwide.)

Source:  Elena Stancu, “Mass exodus: Why corruption in Romania’s healthcare system is forcing its doctors to work abroad,” Independent, January 2, 2014.

According to a survey conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Indonesia, the Forest Ministry is viewed as being the most corrupt institution in the country.  The Commission found that illegal loggers buying logging permits through bribes were the most common form of corruption in the ministry.

Government data shows that 16 percent of logging permits that were issued by the ministry followed regulation and met all environmental requirements prior to being issued.

In addition to the forest ministry employees, workers from various criminal justice programs in Indonesia has also been found to have been participating in illegal logging. In May 2013, a police officer was arrested for running a $150 Million logging ring in the eastern Papua region. (Additional cases of police corruption.)

As many as two million hectares of Indonesian forest is cut down and lost each year. The amount of forest lost is equivalent to 10,000 football fields per day.

Source:  “Indonesia struggles to clean up corrupt forestry sector,” Bangkok Post, January 1, 2014.


Security services in Italy estimate that the organized crime group  ‘Ndragheta brings in up to $65 Billion (£40 Billion) a year in black market revenue.

One of the main revenue sources is in cocaine trafficking, where ‘Ndragheta controls up to 80 percent of the cocaine imported into Europe.

Another key areas of money is from “pizzo”, or the Mob Tax. Between 2008 and 2013, the European Union have granted $4.1 Billion (£2.5 Billion) in public works projects such as new roads to areas controlled by the “Ndraheta. Portions of these government money ends up being paid by construction firms to the syndicate.

Out of the total revenue that is collected, a third of the money is reinvested back into its criminal operations. The remaining money is either laundered into legitimate businesses, or is used to pay bribes to police officers and politicians.

(What is racketeering? See more examples here.)

Source:  Nigel Blundell, “The new godfathers: Deadlier and MORE secretive than the Sicilian mafia,” Mirror Online, December 8, 2013.

The Black Guerrilla Family, a prison gang in the United States city of Baltimore, was running its operations with the help of prison guards.

It was previously reported that women guards were providing sex to inmates for $150.

According to the affidavit filed in federal court, male guards were assisting the gang by smuggling in contraband into the prison.  Court documents state that one guard was making $3,000 to $5,000 a week by smuggling contraband to one inmate.

The way the corrections officer would smuggle items in to the prison varied by contraband. Many of the items, such as marijuana, would be hidden on the guards body. For cellphones, the guards would place the phone between pieces of bread and pack the phone as a sandwich in their lunch bag.

(Additional police corruption and other types of corruption here.)

Source:  Justin Peters, “The Best Tips and Tricks for Smuggling Drugs Into a Jail,” Slate, Crime Blog, November 25, 2013.

According to defectors and intelligence analysts, North Korean security agents are increasing their inspections on regional offices after an order by leader Kim Jong-un. As a result of the increased surveillance, the amount of bribes being paid to the security services have increased in 2013.

According to intelligence sources in North Korea, local party officials offer drugs, cash, meals and other gifts to the inspectors when they show up. Top officials receive up to $2,000 in bribes, while propaganda officers, state inspectors, and Defense commission members all receive up to $1,000 per visit.

(Examples of political corruption worldwide.)

In addition to the increase in bribes, a mass execution recently took place in a stadium as a results of security services finding contraband materials. Along with executions that took place across 7 cities, up to 80 people were executed in a stadium that authorities filled with over 10,000 residents in Wonsan. The crimes including watching South Korean dramas on pirated videos, being in possession of a Bible, and distributing pornography.

Source:  “How Oppressions in N.Korea Fuels Corruption,” Chosun Iblo, November 18, 2013.

Source:  Carol J. Williams, “North Korea executes 80, some for minor offenses, newspaper says,” Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2013.

A report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) states that the Indonesian government has lost over $7 Billion in revenue from 2007 to 2011 due to illegal logging activities and government corruption.

In 2011 alone, the estimated lost revenue was over $2 Billion, which HRW stated is more than the government’s entire budget for the health department.

In an example of corruption in Indonesia, one policeman made nearly $1 Million by helping protect illegal loggers and fuel smugglers in the region.

Source:  Berni Moestafa, “Forest Misuse Costs Indonesia $7 Billion in Revenue, Report Says,” Bloomberg, November 10, 2013.

According to court testimony for the former Director General of Police (Prisons), the value of drugs that are smuggled in the state of Punjab, India, is worth $9.7 Billion (60,000 Crore Indian Rupees) per year. The former security official stated that many of proceeds from the illegal drug trade went to funding elections of corrupt officials in the state.

Previous estimates by intelligence agencies stated that in all of India, the drug trade was valued at $2.2  Billion to $4.5 Billion (10,000 to 20,000 crore).

Source:  “Drug trafficking in jails: HC tells Centre to decide on deploying paramilitary forces,” Times of India, October 29, 2013.

According to the 2013 Global Fraud Report, 70 percent of global companies surveyed by risk consulting firm Kroll were victims of a fraud attack. The number of companies receiving an attack was up from 61 percent in 2012.

The companies faced on average 2.3 different types of fraud that affected 1.4 percent of revenue. One in ten companies surveyed reported that fraud cost their companies over 4 percent of revenue.  The theft of physical assets was the most common type of fraud, with 28 percent of companies falling victim.

14 percent of companies fell victim to bribery and corruption in 2013, compared to 11 percent in 2012. The theft of intellectual property affected 11 percent of companies, and money laundering cases affected 3 percent of companies.

Source: “2013/2014 Global Fraud Report,” Kroll, October

A report by Transparency International found that one in six students around the world had to pay a bribe in order to receive education services.

In addition to the bribes, corrupt actions taken by officials has prevented millions of dollars from reaching schools. In Kenya, funding that could be used to purchase up to 11 million textbooks are lost each year. In Tanzania, over one-third of the funding that was to be used for funding 180 schools is lost to corruption. In Nigeria, $21 Million that was meant for schools was lost to corruption in a span of 2 years.

(All statistics on the effects of corruption.)

Source:  Sean Coughlan, “Corruption and bribery in the classroom,” BBC News, October 9, 2013.