Politics is the perfect cover for those seeking to line their pockets: Find a populist message to get yourself elected and then bend the rules to send government business to friends and family, not forgetting to take a cut for yourself along the way. And then there’s lots of means to hide your ill-gotten gains behind shell companies, evade taxes and squirrel away your loot in secret offshore bank accounts.
Here are some kleptocrats who have perfected the art of personal enrichment, and a look at other politicians in countries so plagued by corruption or who are so adept at exploiting special loopholes designed to benefit the rich that’s it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days who’s clean and who’s not.
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