The Organization Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) recently revealed the list of 2021’s most corrupt persons. The list names the people who advanced organized criminal activity and corruption. OCCRP gave the number one spot to President of the European country Belarus Alexander G. Lukashenko.
On the other hand, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan claimed the number four spot. Meanwhile, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were runner-ups.
According to the media, a panel of six journalists studying and reporting on corruption curated the list. Interestingly, this was the first time in a decade that the panels took a unanimous decision.
In 2021, Lukashenko, misused state money, violated international laws on aviation, created the Belarus-EU border crisis, and promulgated misinformation and fake cures for Covid-19.
Finalists for the 2021 Corrupt Person of the Year
🇦🇫 Asraf Ghani
🇸🇾 Bashar Al-Assad
🇹🇷 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
🇦🇹 Sebastian Kurz
And the winner, 🇧🇾 Aleksandr Lukashenko.
See why our judges selected the Belarusian president. https://t.co/5dZxwMfOF4
— Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (@OCCRP) December 27, 2021
Corruption charges against world leaders
According to OCCRP, Erdogan has overseen a corrupt government that has laundered Chinese funds for Iranian oil using state-owned banks. Moreover, Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, who last served as the Finance Minister of Turkey, came under worldwide criticism for mastering financial corruption.
Albayrak’s aide used Halkbank with due support from the Turkish government, especially from Berat Albayrak, and laundered Turkish gold in exchange for Iranian oil. With the corruption cases, civil liberties groups in Turkey began protesting against the practice of sheer nepotism and favouritism in Erdogan’s government.
Important to note, OCCRP considered Ashraf Ghani for the top spot. Earlier this year, Ashraf Ghani abandoned his people by fleeing Afghanistan as the Taliban took over the country.
“Ghani certainly deserves an award, too. He was breathtaking in both his corruption and his gross incompetence,” said Drew Sullivan, a co-founder of OCCRP who served as a judge on the panel.
“He deserted his people, leaving them to misery and death so he could live among the corrupt former state officials in the moral cesspool that is the UAE,” Sullivan further added.
As for President Bashar al-Assad, he led Syria into a destructive civil war. He also stole hundreds of millions of dollars while clinging to power.