In Box

Who’s guarding the guards?

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International was recently embarrassed by allegations of corruption at its Kenyan chapter. But it isn't the only graft-buster to find itself subject to blowback. FP takes a look at some of the alleged cases of corruption among those charged with fighting it.

Name: Daniel Fretes Ventre

Position: Comptroller-General of Paraguay

Charge: Blackmail. Fretes Ventre was in charge of rooting out corruption in Paraguay. Then the press began to notice the glamorous properties he was accumulating. In 2000, he was charged with using ethics investigations to blackmail officials and businesspeople. A lower court found him guilty, but he escaped jail time by appealing to the Supreme Courtm — in a case that was marred by speculation of corruption. His luck is still holding: He was the only person acquitted in another corruption trial in June.

Name: Farid Faqih

Position: Director of Government Waste, an Indonesian anti-graft outfit; worked with the U.N. World Food Programme

Charge: Sticky hands. Aid poured into Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami. Not all of it made it to the survivors, though. Faqih ordered the transfer of food, medicine, and computer equipment from an aircraft hangar to two warehouses that he operated. Faqih claims he was merely trying to speed up the relief process. A court sentenced him to a year in jail in June 2005 for the illegal movement of relief aid.

Name: Tran Quoc Truong

Position: Deputy Head of Vietnam’s Government Inspectorate

Charge: Bribery. Truong was suspended in July for allegedly being in the pocket of corrupt executives in the state-owned petroleum firm. In exchange for recommending a mild punishment for their embezzlement of $41.3 million, he supposedly received more than $3,600, New Year’s gifts, and a bottle of alcohol. If true, Truong sold himself short: His deputy allegedly got $11,500 and land.

Name: Mwalimu Mati

Position: Executive Director, Transparency International Kenya

Charge: Nepotism. Mati was fired in June for apparently promising $200,000 worth of consultancy work to his fiancée’s company. Mati has thrown the charge right back at the prominent organization, accusing the chair of the board in Kenya of sending work her own husband’s way and employing her niece as the deputy director.

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