'Fight harder' against corruption: activists

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 23 Jan, 2015 Updated Fri 23 Jan 2015 09:10 CEST
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Campaigners say the states can do more to fight corruption after a report showed that Brandenburg, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg had the highest numbers of cases.

New statistics by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) show that 1,403 corruption cases were investigated in 2013, two percent more than in 2012, Die Welt reported.

But the report notes that this is still below the average of previous years.

The corruption cases range from embezzlement to employers making sexual demands.

North Rhine-Westphalia had the most cases at 464, while Bavaria came in second at 209 and Brandenburg in third with 163 cases. 

However, when population was taken into account, Brandenburg had the highest rate of corruption cases with 6.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Saarland came in second at 2.9 cases per 100,000 people and North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg tied for third place, each with 2.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The state with the least number of cases per person was Rhineland-Palatinate with 0.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Berlin-based anti-corruption group Transparency International (TI) said the slight rise in cases does not necessarily indicate there has been more corruption in some places than in others, but rather that certain states may be working harder to catch it.

"The report seems to suggest that states are trying different ways to uncover corruption and that many states must still do a lot more against corruption than before," said Reiner Hüper, leader of a working group at TI.

Hüper pointed out that while North Rhine-Westphalia has set up four public prosecutor's offices focused on fighting corruption as well as special services to help police, Rhineland-Palatinate has no public prosecutors specializing in corruption.

Nineteen investigations in 2013 involved government employees, including four Foreign Ministry workers, who are accused of improperly granting visas to foreigners.

Another case in Stuttgart involved a man working at a job agency who demanded sex in exchange for finding clients work. 

And twelve cases involved elected officials, including ex-Thuringia interior minister Christian Köckert, who was convicted last year for receiving bribes. 






The Local 2015/01/23 09:10

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