Corruption’s Shields

The Washington Post reports no progress in the official investigation a year after the murder of the crusading mayor of Sergiev Posad, outside Moscow. Meanwhile, police raid the apartment of anti-corruption blogger and activist Alexei Navalny in Moscow. / REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky

Much is made of corruption at the highest levels in Russia. But sometimes it’s the story of an individual town and the thwarted efforts of one reformer that can drive home the plight many Russians currently face.

The Washington Post reports on where things stand nearly one year after the murder of a reformist mayor in the city of Sergiev Posad, about 40 miles from Moscow. The verdict? Not promising.

The mayor, Yevgeny Dushko – only 35 years old – tried to take on the entrenched corruption and criminal elements with a stranglehold on his city. He was shot to death after getting into his car one morning last August.

“Since then the police have found no suspects, nor have they in fact shown much interest in conducting an investigation,” the Post reports. “No reforms have tackled graft in Sergiev Posad. The old ways continue, part of the scourge of corruption that has left cities and towns across Russia too broke to provide basic services.”

Sweep to In Russia, corruption continues unabated after reformer is gunned down

A growing corruption scandal in Singapore involving alleged sexual favors in return for contracts claimed its second high-profile government official in less than a week.

Singapore’s former Central Narcotics Bureau director, Ng Boon Gay, was charged with four counts of corruption related to the sex-for-contracts scandal, Bloomberg News reports.

Ng is accused of carrying on a relationship last year with a corporate executive seeking technology contracts from his agency. The woman in question worked for both Hitachi Data Systems and, later, for Oracle. In an email to the Reuters news service, Hitachi Data Systems said the company had been unaware of any inappropriate behavior by its employee, and Oracle declined to comment.

The case against Ng comes hot on the heels of similar charges filed against the former commissioner of Singapore public safety agency. That former official, Peter Benedict Lim Sin Pang, was accused of seeking sexual favors from at least three women.

Sweep to Ex-Singapore Drug Enforcement Head Face Corruption Charge

Paul Jennings, the former chief executive of British chemical company Innospec, pleaded guilty this week to bribery charges stemming from payoffs in Iraq and Indonesia.

Innospec is the sole remaining manufacturer of tetraethyl lead, a fuel additive used in leaded gas, the Liverpool Daily Post reports. The chemical, linked to pollution and neurotoxicity, and highly damaging to catalytic converters, is banned for cars in much of the world, but still used in aviation and elsewhere. Jennings and two other Innospec executives are accused of bribing Iraqi and Indonesian officials to secure contracts for its fuel additive and other products.

The two other executives – which include another former CEO and the Asia-Pacific sales director for Innospec – have maintained their innocence. They are scheduled to go to trial before a British court in early 2013.

Sweep to Former Innospec chief executive Paul Jennings pleads guilty to corruption charges


Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler is an award-winning journalist who for nearly a decade has investigated a wide range of subjects from financial crimes by corporations and individuals, to politics and government abuses at the local, state and federal levels, to terrorist financing networks.