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.”
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.
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.