Corruption News

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

The effects of corruption and bribe payments in Mexico costs the economy up to $114 Billion a year. The economic impact from corruption is equal to 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

Between 1970 and 2010, Mexico lost an estimated $872 Billion to corruption, tax evasion and other types of black market activities.

Source:  Randal C. Archibald, “Even as It Hurts Mexican Economy, Bribery Is Taken in Stride,” New York Times, April 23, 2012.

According to a study conducted by Hong Kong Baptist University, companies around the world increased their market value by an average of $11 for every $1 that the company paid in bribes to government officials.

The study focused on 166 cases of bribery at public companies and found that the average amount of the bribe paid was $2.5 Million.

40 percent of companies participated in the study reported losing business to a competitor because of bribes being paid.

(See the different types of corruption impacting the global economy.)

Source:  Ashley Lutz, “Here’s Proof That Bribery Is An Effective Business Strategy,” Business Insider, April 18, 2012.

Back in 2005, the World Bank reported that up to $1 Million a day was being paid out in bribes across Romania.

The high level of corruption has affected the country’s health care industry, with the Associated Press reporting that nurses expect cash payments in order to change bed sheets and to put in drips.

Around 2,800 doctors in Romania left the country in 2011 due to frustration with the corruption and old equipment.

As a result, one out of 100 babies born in Romania does not live to their first birthday, more than double the average rate in the European Union.

(Additional types of corruption and its impact.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Doctor saves babies caught in Romania corruption,” Google News, March 31, 2012.


In March 2012, there were at least 78 corporations in the United States that were under active investigation by the U.S. Attorney Generals Office for possible violations of anti-bribery laws.

In a span of 4 years leading up to 2012, up to 58 companies in the United States paid a total of $3.74 Billion to settle charges of corruption and bribery. Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 67 people have been formally charged for corruption and bribery, and 42 have been convicted.

In 2003, not a single person was charged for corruption and bribery activities in the U.S.

Source:  Leslie Wayne, “Hits, and Misses, in a War on Bribery,” New York Times, March 10, 2012.

According to a Chinese investigative reporter, local officials pay between $475 to $792 (3,000 to 5,000 Yuan) to remove petition complaints from citizens. These complaints are filled in Beijing and complaints are used to judge whether to promote a local official.

(More information about political corruption worldwide.)

Source:  Malcolm Moore, “The black market thugs hired by regime to stop Chinese protesters,” Telegraph, March 4, 2012.

A study by a researcher at Hanoi University of Pharmacy reported that between 40 to 60 percent of the drug prices in Vietnam is due to the amount of bribes being paid to doctors to prescribe the drug.

(Read about the various types of corruption in Asia.)

Source: Ben Hirschler, “Vietnam study finds bribes dominate medicine prices,” Reuters, February 28, 2012.

A study by the University of Illinois found that the federal district court covering the city of Chicago had the most public corruption convictions in the country.

Between 1976 and 2011, there were 1,531 convictions for public corruption within the district, the highest amount in the country. For the entire state of Illinois, there were 1,828 convictions during the time period.

Between 1973 and 2011, a total of 31 Chicago aldermen were convicted for corruption crimes.

(More on political corruption in the United States.)

Source:  Kim Janssen, “It’s official: Chicago is nation’s corruption capital,” Chicago Sun-Times, February 15, 2012.

Corruption caused the country of Indonesia to lose up to $238 Million (2.13 Trillion Indonesian Rupiah) in 2011.

Embezzlement from the state government caused losses of $137 Million (1.23 Trillion Rupiah), misappropriations caused $20 Million (181.1 Billion Rupiah) in losses, and marking up contracts to make a profit caused $19.2 Million (171.5 Billion Rupiah) in losses.

Source:  Ezra Sihite, “Corruption Costs Indonesia $238m in 2011,” Jakarta Globe, January 30, 2012.

Fraud, corruption and black market smuggling of fuel leads to an estimated loss of $4 Billion a year in Nigeria, according to a legislative committee.

59 million liters of fuel is discharged from vessels across the country, yet only 35 million liters are consumed, leading to 24 million liters being smuggled out of the country.

Source:  James Jukwey, “Nigeria investigates $4 billion fuel subsidy fraud,” Reuters, January 19, 2012.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that insurgents in Afghanistan receive up to 10 percent of the revenue and profits from the opium trade.

Another 20 percent of the drug trafficking profits goes to the actual farmers, with the remaining 70 percent of profits going to the traffickers, police officers, bribing government officials and other types of government corruption and payoffs.

Source: Alissa J. Rubin, “In Afghanistan, Poppy Growing Proves Resilient,” New York Times, January 1, 2012.