UK crime agencies to fight overseas corruption
From H S Rao
London, Feb 1 (PTI) To clamp down on overseas corruption and stop foreign or UK criminals from benefiting from corrupt practices in developing countries, Britain''s aid officials and crime agencies will spearhead a new initiative.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening today announced the move and said, "The UK Government will not only work in countries to prevent public funds from being siphoned off or stolen but also step up efforts to combat corruption that uses its shores as a host."
"DFID (Department for International Development) will provide additional support to the specialist units in the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Organised Crime Agency to continue to stop foreign or UK criminals from benefiting from corrupt practices in developing countries, Greening said.
The DFID is a government department that aims at promoting sustainable development and eliminating world poverty.
"Britain has also established a new task-force of UK legal and investigative experts to help recover stolen assets across the Middle East," he said.
The announcement comes close on the heels of Prime Minister David Cameron''s announcement that transparency and accountability would be a key priority at G8 summit this year.
"When corruption happens in developing countries, it is the very poorest people in our world who foot the bill.
Corruption is a dead-weight which is holding countries and their people back," Justine Greening said.
"The move comes as, for the first time, DFID publishes specific plans to tackle the threat of endemic corruption in each of its 29 priority countries.
This will help the poorest people to develop their economies, hold their own governments accountable and grow their way out of poverty.
Britain''s own aid funds are subject to strict checks to safeguard spending and prevent fraud.
DFID has a dedicated Counter Fraud Unit to investigate allegations of misuse of aid money, a DFID release said. PTI HSR