Corrupt Person of the Year: Vladimir Putin
By Russ Warner, VP Marketing –
President Vladimir Putin of Russia is the corrupt “Person of the Year,” according to an association of European-based journalists who created the “Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project” (OCCRP), founded in 2006.
Since the project’s creation, two other world leaders have been selected for this contemptible distinction. In 2012, Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan was elected most corrupt for his efforts to capture large portions of ownership in Azerbaijan-based companies. The following year, the entire Romanian Parliament was selected for its efforts to add laws making corruption “legal” for high-ranking government officials.
Most recently, Putin was nominated for integrating crime and deceit within the entire framework of Russia’s state policy. The OCCRP report highlights some key reasons why Putin is the world’s most corrupt.
- Putin has been recognized for his work in turning Russia into a major money-laundering center. He developed a sophisticated money-laundering system collaborating with Russian and Moldovan organized crime groups that used state-run banks, fake loans and corrupt judges. This system created a channel by which corrupt government officials could transfer money throughout Europe to support Putin’s interests.
- Putin is a world leader in failing to prosecute criminal activity. In fact, Putin’s actions have done more to promote criminal activity than to prevent it. As a result, only 45 percent of Russia’s civilian citizens believe they can make any difference in the fight against corruption. Sadly, it seems the Russians have accepted their fate and many have embraced corruption, adopting it not only in their business practices, but also in their culture as a whole. For example, the Telegraph reports that Russia has been hit by an exam-cheating epidemic; 1,323 Ph.D. diplomas were illegally awarded to professors throughout the country.
- Putin has established a government practice of working with and using crime groups as key components of state policy; organized crime groups have collaborated with the Kremlin, serving as intermediaries for weapons transfers between Ukrainian pro-Russian rebels and official soldiers based in Russia.
- Putin used deceptive tactics to obtain control over Crimea and other parts of Eastern Ukraine. Putin used the media to effectively create a fog of confusion so thick that he declared Crimea a sovereign and independent state under Russia’s protective cover. Under Putin’s direction, the Russian media deceived its citizens and the rest of the world.
How to Fight Back
While Putin might be able to use modern techniques to deceive the world, there are also modern techniques available to prevent deception from occurring within governmental agencies.
For years, the polygraph test has been used as a tool to detect deception. However, with the advent of increasingly sophisticated technology, a newer, cheaper alternative to the polygraph has been introduced to the world. This technology, known as EyeDetect®, may be the next step in the fight against global corruption.