Corruption has become like a plague and a menace in the world. Millions of people are made to suffer owing to the greed of a single individual. Politicians are considered to be among the leading corrupt individuals all over the globe. They manipulate the system of governance, steal and use the stolen money to fund and secure safety as they enjoy the loot.
Reports from government agencies and international monetary institutions indicate that the trend is prevalent and growing by day. Politicians engage in the vice in person, through family members or cronies. This is not only a threat to the global economy but as well to the livelihood of millions across the globe who are in dire need of basic necessities. With politicians topping the list, here are the 10 most corrupt politicians around the globe 2018.
Table of Page Contents
- 10. Arnoldo Aleman – Nicaragua
- 9. Joseph Estrada – Philippines
- 8. Alberto Fujimori – Peru
- 7. Jean-Claude Duvalier – Haiti
- 6. Slobodan Milosevic – Serbia
- 5. Sani Abacha – Nigeria
- 4. Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo – Guinea
- 3. Mobutu Sese Seko – Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- 2. Ferdinand Marcos – Philippines
- 1. Mohamed Suharto – Indonesia
10. Arnoldo Aleman – Nicaragua
Having left office in 2002 after service for only 5 years, Arnoldo was arrested on corruption charges. Charged alongside a number of family members and close associates, it emerged he was involved in embezzlement, money laundering and fraud among other crimes. All these were estimated to consist of over $100 million in state funds. Despite being convicted for the crimes, Arnoldo was released in unclear circumstances and the state is yet to recover the full amounts ascertained by the courts. Court findings indicated the amounts embezzled were used to acquire high value property for the former president and family members.
9. Joseph Estrada – Philippines
Having risen to the ranks of power through fake promises, Estrada used his entire presidency looting from the public coffers. Considered to have been corrupt even before ascending to power, he created a circle of corrupt politicians and cronies to aide his purpose. It is estimated the by the time he left office, Estrada had stolen over $80 million from the state funds alongside other amounts generated through corrupt dealings and bribery.
8. Alberto Fujimori – Peru
Despite crushing terror insurgents in Peru, Fujimori also left the helm with a scandalous history. It is believed that during his tenure as the 45th president, the country experienced massive corruption making it the most corrupt regime in history of Peru. Financial reports indicate that during his term, the country lost an estimated $4 billion to corruption.
On his side, he illegally accumulated wealth worth over $600 million from the public funds. After leaving office, he was arrested and put on trial and later convicted on charges related to corruption. Despite his being convicted and as he continues to serve his term in jail, the state is yet to recover assets connected to his crimes.
7. Jean-Claude Duvalier – Haiti
After taking over the government at the age of 19, Jean-Claude started off a government stained with corruption. This was after the department of Commerce in the US reported that over 64% of the government funds collected as revenues were misappropriated. 16 years down the line as the leader, the situation worsened with massive fraud and corruption happening within his government. After returning from exile, we was arrested and charged in court where he died before the case could be determined. The current government has already moved to court seeking to recover his assets currently held by companies owned by his immediate family.
6. Slobodan Milosevic – Serbia
Holding the presidency of Serbia between 1990 and 1997 then later as the president of Yugoslavia until 2000, Milosevic also joins the list of the world’s most corrupt politicians. Records compiled by central bank of Yugoslavia and the US treasury department indicate that his family and cronies embezzled millions of dollars during his tenure. Efforts to track down his assets proved futile as the assets were held by overseas companies and his friends. Despite being arraigned in court, he passed on from a heart attack before a conclusion could be made on his case.
5. Sani Abacha – Nigeria
With his experience in the army holding senior positions, Abacha rose to the helm of presidency in a 1993 coup. Leading the country through an iron fist, he managed to reduce the external debt of Nigeria and increased state reserves significantly. After his death in 1998, a report was compiled that indicated that an estimated $5 billion was embezzled and misappropriated by family members. Unlike the others in the list, after his death the state has continued to recover amounts embezzled through his family. In a twist of fate, reports also indicate that pat of the returned amounts was confiscated and embezzled by state officials.
4. Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo – Guinea
As the leader of the poorest country in the globe, Teodoro is among the richest politicians globally. It is estimated that his wealth accumulated is worth over $600 million comparing to the richest US president with only $11.8 million. Reports by international money organisations indicate that he is involved in massive money laundering including electronic fraud and bribery from international companies. In 2003, he made an announcement to have in place measures to curb the ever rising corruption within his administration. This was alongside a promise to reverse money held in his accounts to public coffers.
3. Mobutu Sese Seko – Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Ruling his country for more than three decades, Mobutu was typically referred to as the “strong man of Africa” due to massive corruption, his country suffered financially with inflation levels rising to over 4,000% per year. Corruption was too prevalent during his tenure with recorded prove showing he directed his cronies “not to steal too much”. Attempts by the current governments have proved futile by failure to identify the exact whereabouts of Mobutu’s wealth. This is despite some of his assets being traced to Switzerland and the countries failure to cooperate with investigating agencies.
2. Ferdinand Marcos – Philippines
Elected into office in 1965, Marcos was a daring of many showcasing his 27 medals of war. In a 21 year old rule, there was massive corruption in his administration with relatives and cronies raiding financial and government institutions for cash. The laundered amounts were transferred offshore for banking and investments in high-end real estates. After his death in exile, the government created a quasi judicial agency that has seen return of almost $3.6 billion to the state from his assets. This is estimated to increase to $4.1 by the time the agency winds up its task.
1. Mohamed Suharto – Indonesia
Winning appraisal from the west, Suharto in his early years in power was a true hero for his country. He provided a platform better economic growth raising the living standards of his people significantly. 31 years down the line, the seeds of corruption began germinating within his administration. His extent of corruption went far awarding lucrative contracts to his immediate family and cronies.
An agency created under his watch and guidance to build schools received stipulated portions of profits from businesses and financial institutions an amount that was as well embezzled. The current government in 2010 placed a case seeking to recover the embezzled amounts from his family an initiative that is yet to make any gains.
By manipulating the governing systems, politicians continue to loot public funds in their respective countries. While every government comes with promises to curb the ever growing vice, the seeds of corruption continue to germinate and grow. This not only hinders development in most countries but as well a big threat to the livelihood of the citizens. International lenders continue to feed the hungry and corrupt leaders with a resource while leaving the heavy burden of repayment to poor citizens.