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Privatization scheme bribery case ends with guilty plea on least serious charge

A series of criminal trials over a bribery scandal over a P3 privatization scheme ended last week with people admitting that $22.5 million in bribes were paid, but with no one being convicted of actually paying them. For those naïve enough to believe that the justice system does a good job of policing the privatization industry, it was a very bad week.

Source: PSI

BPE, EFCC to block money laundry in privatization exercise

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) “with a view to blocking laundered money from the privatization program.” Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, the executive chairman of the EFFC, said “we will be willing to support you against any threat that will discourage investors from coming into the country, and in order to achieve this I think we need to establish a common desk for a seamless synergy.” He “assured that EFCC was ready to carry out due diligence on any entity that showed interest in the purchase of government assets in order to prevent corrupt elements from using the privatization process as a means of laundering illegally acquired funds.”

Source: Vanguard News Nigeria

The public is losing control of public land

Nguyen Khac Giang, a Vietnamese researcher at the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research, says the public is losing control of public land. “Corruption soars alongside privatization, which is reaching new highs. (…) This situation has been obvious to the people for a long time, but it has become even more blatant lately, as Vietnam’s privatization efforts are at an all-time high. The current aim is to reduce the number of state-owned businesses to 150 in 2020. This is important. Not just for our average citizens whose homes stand on top of these “public land,” but for our society as a whole. Vietnam’s land is currently priced at $34 billion, the most valuable commodity for the public. Half of this most precious resource is being managed by numerous public firms and authorities. For the government, our land is literal money bags.”

Source: VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam