Investigating Corruption Cases

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Investigating corruption cases is a crucial step in the fight against corruption. Without proper investigation, it is difficult to know what exactly the public or government lost in a given corruption incident.  It is difficult to know who was innocent and who was guilty as charged. Without proper investigation, policy communities, government agencies, members of the public, and other stakeholders are denied an opportunity, maybe the only opportunity they have to know what happened, what went wrong, and how to prevent such future incidents.  Speedy and efficient investigations are likely to help prevent, control, and address corruption problems in a country. Delayed investigations are likely to hinder efforts to deliver justice in corruption cases.

In Brazil, investigations into the “Big Monthly Payment” scandal which began in 2005 are yet to be completed. All the key figures behind the scandal also known as Mensalão are yet to be tried. The “Big Monthly Payment” scheme was a fraudulent scheme where public funds were siphoned to buy political support for Lula da Silva government.  About $ 100 million (US$ 43 million) of tax payers’ money was lost.   Completing investigations and prosecuting those responsible has proven difficult.

 

In Nigeria, a building collapsed on the 12th of September 2014 killed 116 people among them 81 South Africans. The collapse was attributed to illegal construction, particularly failure to adhere to architectural standards. Investigations into the case are yet to be completed.  In South Korea, three relatives ofYoo Byung-eun who co-owned Chonghaejin Marine Co, were sentenced to three years in prison, after they were found guilty of   ignoring safety warning, when they allowed Sewol ferry to be illegally redesigned and carry people while overload. The vessel sunk in April 2014 killing 300 people among them students.  This shows that government’s commitment to taking action, to investigate cases of corruption, and to prosecute offenders is fundamental to tackling corruption.  

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