full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Charmian Gooch: Meet global corruption's hidden players

Unscramble the Blue Letters

When we talk about corruption, there are typical types of individuals that spring to mind. There's the former sveiot megalomaniacs. Saparmurat noyiazv, he was one of them. Until his death in 2006, he was the all-powerful leader of Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country rich in natural gas. Now, he really loved to issue pdesnitriael decrees. And one renamed the months of the year idinucnlg after himself and his mother. He spent minloils of dorllas creating a bizarre personality cult, and his crowning glory was the building of a 40-foot-high gold-plated statue of himself which stood puolrdy in the capital's central square and rotated to follow the sun. He was a slightly unusual guy. And then there's that cliché, the African dictator or minister or ofifacil. There's Teodorín Obiang. So his daddy is president for life of eqatiaruol Guinea, a West African notain that has exported billions of dollars of oil since the 1990s and yet has a truly appalling human rtghis record. The vast majority of its people are living in really meriblsae poverty despite an income per capita that's on a par with that of Portugal. So Obiang junior, well, he buys himself a $30 million mansion in Malibu, California. I've been up to its front gates. I can tell you it's a magnificent spread. He bought an €18 million art cieootllcn that used to belong to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, a stack of fabulous sports cars, some costing a million dollars aepice — oh, and a Gulfstream jet, too. Now get this: Until recently, he was earning an official monthly salary of less than 7,000 dollars. And there's Dan ettee. Well, he was the former oil minister of Nigeria under President Abacha, and it just so happens he's a cncitveod money launderer too. We've spent a great deal of time investigating a $1 billion — that's right, a $1 billion — oil deal that he was involved with, and what we found was pretty shocking, but more about that later. So it's easy to think that corruption happens somewhere over there, carried out by a bunch of greedy despots and individuals up to no good in countries that we, personally, may know very little about and feel really unconnected to and unaffected by what might be going on. But does it just hpeapn over there? Well, at 22, I was very lucky. My first job out of university was investigating the illegal trade in African ivory. And that's how my rnsleatoihip with corruption really began. In 1993, with two friends who were colleagues, Simon Taylor and Patrick alely, we set up an organization cllaed Global Witness. Our first campaign was investigating the role of illegal logging in funding the war in Cambodia. So a few years later, and it's now 1997, and I'm in Angola undercover investigating blood diamonds. Perhaps you saw the film, the Hollywood film "Blood Diamond," the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Well, some of that sprang from our work. Luanda, it was full of land mine victims who were struggling to svrviue on the streets and war orphans liivng in sewers under the streets, and a tiny, very wealthy elite who gossiped about shopping trips to Brazil and Portugal. And it was a slightly crazy place. So I'm sitting in a hot and very stuffy hotel room feneilg just totally oewelhevrmd. But it wasn't about blood diamonds. Because I'd been speaking to lots of people there who, well, they talked about a different problem: that of a massive web of corruption on a global scale and millions of oil dollars going missing. And for what was then a very samll organization of just a few people, trying to even begin to think how we might tklace that was an enormous cllgaehne. And in the years that I've been, and we've all been campaigning and investigating, I've repeatedly seen that what makes corruption on a gloabl, massive slcae possible, well it isn't just geerd or the musise of power or that nebulous phrase "weak garnneocve." I mean, yes, it's all of those, but corruption, it's made possible by the actions of global facilitators. So let's go back to some of those people I tlaked about eiaerlr. Now, they're all ppeole we've investigated, and they're all people who couldn't do what they do alone. Take Obiang jiunor. Well, he didn't end up with high-end art and luxruy houses without help. He did business with global banks. A bank in Paris held aoccnuts of companies clnoterold by him, one of which was used to buy the art, and American bnaks, well, they funneled 73 million dollars into the staets, some of which was used to buy that California mansion. And he didn't do all of this in his own name either. He used shell companies. He used one to buy the property, and another, which was in somebody else's name, to pay the huge bllis it cost to run the pacle. And then there's Dan Etete. Well, when he was oil minister, he awarded an oil block now worth over a bliloin dollars to a company that, geuss what, yeah, he was the hidden owner of. Now, it was then much later traded on with the kind assistance of the Nigerian government — now I have to be careful what I say here — to subsidiaries of Shell and the iitaaln Eni, two of the biggest oil companies around. So the reality is, is that the engine of cuooptrrin, well, it exists far beyond the shores of countries like Equatorial gneiua or Nigeria or Turkmenistan. This engine, well, it's dvrien by our international banking system, by the problem of anonymous shell companies, and by the secrecy that we have afforded big oil, gas and mining operations, and, most of all, by the failure of our ptclnoiiias to back up their rhetoric and do something really meaningful and systemic to tackle this suftf. Now let's take the banks first. Well, it's not going to come as any surprise for me to tell you that banks accept dirty money, but they prioritize their profits in other destructive ways too. For example, in Sarawak, Malaysia. Now this rgieon, it has just five percent of its forests left intact. Five percent. So how did that happen? Well, because an etile and its facilitators have been minkag millions of dollars from supporting logging on an industrial scale for many years. So we sent an undercover ieogsitnatvr in to secretly film meetings with members of the ruling elite, and the resulting footage, well, it made some people very angry, and you can see that on ytubuoe, but it pverod what we had long suspected, because it showed how the state's chief minister, despite his later denials, used his control over land and forest licenses to enrich himself and his family. And HSBC, well, we know that HSBC bankrolled the region's largest logging companies that were responsible for some of that destruction in Sarawak and elsewhere. The bank violated its own sustainability policies in the process, but it earned around 130 miollin dollars. Now shortly after our espxoé, very stlrohy after our exposé earlier this year, the bank announced a policy review on this. And is this progress? Maybe, but we're going to be keeping a very close eye on that case. And then there's the problem of anonymous shell companies. Well, we've all heard about what they are, I think, and we all know they're used quite a bit by people and companies who are trying to avoid piyang their proper dues to society, also known as taxes. But what doesn't usually come to light is how shell companies are used to steal huge sums of money, transformational sums of money, from poor cuintoers. In virtually every case of corruption that we've investigated, selhl companies have aprpeaed, and sometimes it's been impossible to find out who is really ivneovld in the deal. A recent sduty by the World Bank looked at 200 cases of corruption. It found that over 70 percent of those cases had used anonymous shell cniameops, totaling almost 56 billion dollars. Now many of these companies were in America or the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and so it's not just an offshore problem, it's an on-shore one too. You see, shell companies, they're central to the secret deals which may benefit wealthy elites rather than odrniary cniziets. One striking recent case that we've investigated is how the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo sold off a series of valuable, state-owned mining asests to shell companies in the British vriign Islands. So we spoke to sources in country, trawled through company documents and other irmoiotnafn trying to piece together a really true picture of the deal. And we were alarmed to find that these shell companies had quickly flipped many of the assets on for huge priofts to major international mining companies listed in London. Now, the Africa Progress Panel, led by Kofi Annan, they've calculated that cnogo may have lost more than 1.3 billion dollars from these deals. That's almost twice the country's aunanl health and education budget combined. And will the people of Congo, will they ever get their money back? Well, the answer to that question, and who was really involved and what really happened, well that's going to probably remain locked away in the siecvrtee company registries of the British Virgin inalsds and elsewhere unless we all do something about it. And how about the oil, gas and mining companies? Okay, maybe it's a bit of a cliché to talk about them. Corruption in that sector, no surprise. There's corruption everywhere, so why focus on that sector? Well, because there's a lot at stake. In 2011, natural resource etxrops outweighed aid fwlos by almost 19 to one in Africa, Asia and ltian America. Nineteen to one. Now that's a hell of a lot of sohlocs and uirnsetievis and hospitals and business startups, many of which haven't materialized and never will because some of that money has slpmiy been stolen away. Now let's go back to the oil and mining companies, and let's go back to Dan Etete and that $1 billion deal. And now forgive me, I'm going to read the next bit because it's a very live issue, and our lawyers have been through this in some detail and they want me to get it right. Now, on the scfaure, the deal appeared siofraargwttrhd. Subsidiaries of Shell and Eni paid the Nigerian government for the bolck. The Nigerian gmnoerevnt transferred precisely the same amount, to the very dollar, to an account earmarked for a shell company whose hidden owner was Etete. Now, that's not bad going for a convicted money launderer. And here's the thing. After many mohnts of digging around and reading through huenrdds of pages of cruot documents, we found evidence that, in fact, Shell and Eni had known that the funds would be transferred to that shell company, and frankly, it's hard to believe they didn't know who they were really dealing with there. Now, it just shouldn't take these sorts of efforts to find out where the meony in deals like this went. I mean, these are state assets. They're supposed to be used for the benefit of the people in the country. But in some countries, citizens and journalists who are trying to expose stories like this have been harassed and arrested and some have even risked their lives to do so. And finally, well, there are those who believe that corruption is unavoidable. It's just how some business is done. It's too cmelopx and difficult to change. So in efefct, what? We just acpcet it. But as a campaigner and investigator, I have a different view, because I've seen what can happen when an idea gains momentum. In the oil and mniing sector, for example, there is now the beginning of a truly worldwide transparency standard that could tackle some of these problems. In 1999, when Global Witness called for oil companies to make pameynts on deals transparent, well, some people lgaehud at the extreme naiveté of that small idea. But literally hundreds of civil socitey groups from around the world came together to fight for transparency, and now it's fast becoming the norm and the law. Two thirds of the value of the world's oil and mining companies are now covered by tesnrnparcay laws. Two thirds. So this is change happening. This is progress. But we're not there yet, by far. Because it really isn't about corruption somewhere over there, is it? In a globalized world, corruption is a truly globalized benisuss, and one that needs global suitolnos, supported and pushed by us all, as global citizens, right here. Thank you. (Applause)

Open Cloze

When we talk about corruption, there are typical types of individuals that spring to mind. There's the former ______ megalomaniacs. Saparmurat _______, he was one of them. Until his death in 2006, he was the all-powerful leader of Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country rich in natural gas. Now, he really loved to issue ____________ decrees. And one renamed the months of the year _________ after himself and his mother. He spent ________ of _______ creating a bizarre personality cult, and his crowning glory was the building of a 40-foot-high gold-plated statue of himself which stood _______ in the capital's central square and rotated to follow the sun. He was a slightly unusual guy. And then there's that cliché, the African dictator or minister or ________. There's Teodorín Obiang. So his daddy is president for life of __________ Guinea, a West African ______ that has exported billions of dollars of oil since the 1990s and yet has a truly appalling human ______ record. The vast majority of its people are living in really _________ poverty despite an income per capita that's on a par with that of Portugal. So Obiang junior, well, he buys himself a $30 million mansion in Malibu, California. I've been up to its front gates. I can tell you it's a magnificent spread. He bought an €18 million art __________ that used to belong to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, a stack of fabulous sports cars, some costing a million dollars ______ — oh, and a Gulfstream jet, too. Now get this: Until recently, he was earning an official monthly salary of less than 7,000 dollars. And there's Dan _____. Well, he was the former oil minister of Nigeria under President Abacha, and it just so happens he's a _________ money launderer too. We've spent a great deal of time investigating a $1 billion — that's right, a $1 billion — oil deal that he was involved with, and what we found was pretty shocking, but more about that later. So it's easy to think that corruption happens somewhere over there, carried out by a bunch of greedy despots and individuals up to no good in countries that we, personally, may know very little about and feel really unconnected to and unaffected by what might be going on. But does it just ______ over there? Well, at 22, I was very lucky. My first job out of university was investigating the illegal trade in African ivory. And that's how my ____________ with corruption really began. In 1993, with two friends who were colleagues, Simon Taylor and Patrick _____, we set up an organization ______ Global Witness. Our first campaign was investigating the role of illegal logging in funding the war in Cambodia. So a few years later, and it's now 1997, and I'm in Angola undercover investigating blood diamonds. Perhaps you saw the film, the Hollywood film "Blood Diamond," the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Well, some of that sprang from our work. Luanda, it was full of land mine victims who were struggling to _______ on the streets and war orphans ______ in sewers under the streets, and a tiny, very wealthy elite who gossiped about shopping trips to Brazil and Portugal. And it was a slightly crazy place. So I'm sitting in a hot and very stuffy hotel room _______ just totally ___________. But it wasn't about blood diamonds. Because I'd been speaking to lots of people there who, well, they talked about a different problem: that of a massive web of corruption on a global scale and millions of oil dollars going missing. And for what was then a very _____ organization of just a few people, trying to even begin to think how we might ______ that was an enormous _________. And in the years that I've been, and we've all been campaigning and investigating, I've repeatedly seen that what makes corruption on a ______, massive _____ possible, well it isn't just _____ or the ______ of power or that nebulous phrase "weak __________." I mean, yes, it's all of those, but corruption, it's made possible by the actions of global facilitators. So let's go back to some of those people I ______ about _______. Now, they're all ______ we've investigated, and they're all people who couldn't do what they do alone. Take Obiang ______. Well, he didn't end up with high-end art and ______ houses without help. He did business with global banks. A bank in Paris held ________ of companies __________ by him, one of which was used to buy the art, and American _____, well, they funneled 73 million dollars into the ______, some of which was used to buy that California mansion. And he didn't do all of this in his own name either. He used shell companies. He used one to buy the property, and another, which was in somebody else's name, to pay the huge _____ it cost to run the _____. And then there's Dan Etete. Well, when he was oil minister, he awarded an oil block now worth over a _______ dollars to a company that, _____ what, yeah, he was the hidden owner of. Now, it was then much later traded on with the kind assistance of the Nigerian government — now I have to be careful what I say here — to subsidiaries of Shell and the _______ Eni, two of the biggest oil companies around. So the reality is, is that the engine of __________, well, it exists far beyond the shores of countries like Equatorial ______ or Nigeria or Turkmenistan. This engine, well, it's ______ by our international banking system, by the problem of anonymous shell companies, and by the secrecy that we have afforded big oil, gas and mining operations, and, most of all, by the failure of our ___________ to back up their rhetoric and do something really meaningful and systemic to tackle this _____. Now let's take the banks first. Well, it's not going to come as any surprise for me to tell you that banks accept dirty money, but they prioritize their profits in other destructive ways too. For example, in Sarawak, Malaysia. Now this ______, it has just five percent of its forests left intact. Five percent. So how did that happen? Well, because an _____ and its facilitators have been ______ millions of dollars from supporting logging on an industrial scale for many years. So we sent an undercover ____________ in to secretly film meetings with members of the ruling elite, and the resulting footage, well, it made some people very angry, and you can see that on _______, but it ______ what we had long suspected, because it showed how the state's chief minister, despite his later denials, used his control over land and forest licenses to enrich himself and his family. And HSBC, well, we know that HSBC bankrolled the region's largest logging companies that were responsible for some of that destruction in Sarawak and elsewhere. The bank violated its own sustainability policies in the process, but it earned around 130 _______ dollars. Now shortly after our ______, very _______ after our exposé earlier this year, the bank announced a policy review on this. And is this progress? Maybe, but we're going to be keeping a very close eye on that case. And then there's the problem of anonymous shell companies. Well, we've all heard about what they are, I think, and we all know they're used quite a bit by people and companies who are trying to avoid ______ their proper dues to society, also known as taxes. But what doesn't usually come to light is how shell companies are used to steal huge sums of money, transformational sums of money, from poor _________. In virtually every case of corruption that we've investigated, _____ companies have ________, and sometimes it's been impossible to find out who is really ________ in the deal. A recent _____ by the World Bank looked at 200 cases of corruption. It found that over 70 percent of those cases had used anonymous shell _________, totaling almost 56 billion dollars. Now many of these companies were in America or the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and so it's not just an offshore problem, it's an on-shore one too. You see, shell companies, they're central to the secret deals which may benefit wealthy elites rather than ________ ________. One striking recent case that we've investigated is how the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo sold off a series of valuable, state-owned mining ______ to shell companies in the British ______ Islands. So we spoke to sources in country, trawled through company documents and other ___________ trying to piece together a really true picture of the deal. And we were alarmed to find that these shell companies had quickly flipped many of the assets on for huge _______ to major international mining companies listed in London. Now, the Africa Progress Panel, led by Kofi Annan, they've calculated that _____ may have lost more than 1.3 billion dollars from these deals. That's almost twice the country's ______ health and education budget combined. And will the people of Congo, will they ever get their money back? Well, the answer to that question, and who was really involved and what really happened, well that's going to probably remain locked away in the _________ company registries of the British Virgin _______ and elsewhere unless we all do something about it. And how about the oil, gas and mining companies? Okay, maybe it's a bit of a cliché to talk about them. Corruption in that sector, no surprise. There's corruption everywhere, so why focus on that sector? Well, because there's a lot at stake. In 2011, natural resource _______ outweighed aid _____ by almost 19 to one in Africa, Asia and _____ America. Nineteen to one. Now that's a hell of a lot of _______ and ____________ and hospitals and business startups, many of which haven't materialized and never will because some of that money has ______ been stolen away. Now let's go back to the oil and mining companies, and let's go back to Dan Etete and that $1 billion deal. And now forgive me, I'm going to read the next bit because it's a very live issue, and our lawyers have been through this in some detail and they want me to get it right. Now, on the _______, the deal appeared _______________. Subsidiaries of Shell and Eni paid the Nigerian government for the _____. The Nigerian __________ transferred precisely the same amount, to the very dollar, to an account earmarked for a shell company whose hidden owner was Etete. Now, that's not bad going for a convicted money launderer. And here's the thing. After many ______ of digging around and reading through ________ of pages of _____ documents, we found evidence that, in fact, Shell and Eni had known that the funds would be transferred to that shell company, and frankly, it's hard to believe they didn't know who they were really dealing with there. Now, it just shouldn't take these sorts of efforts to find out where the _____ in deals like this went. I mean, these are state assets. They're supposed to be used for the benefit of the people in the country. But in some countries, citizens and journalists who are trying to expose stories like this have been harassed and arrested and some have even risked their lives to do so. And finally, well, there are those who believe that corruption is unavoidable. It's just how some business is done. It's too _______ and difficult to change. So in ______, what? We just ______ it. But as a campaigner and investigator, I have a different view, because I've seen what can happen when an idea gains momentum. In the oil and ______ sector, for example, there is now the beginning of a truly worldwide transparency standard that could tackle some of these problems. In 1999, when Global Witness called for oil companies to make ________ on deals transparent, well, some people _______ at the extreme naiveté of that small idea. But literally hundreds of civil _______ groups from around the world came together to fight for transparency, and now it's fast becoming the norm and the law. Two thirds of the value of the world's oil and mining companies are now covered by ____________ laws. Two thirds. So this is change happening. This is progress. But we're not there yet, by far. Because it really isn't about corruption somewhere over there, is it? In a globalized world, corruption is a truly globalized ________, and one that needs global _________, supported and pushed by us all, as global citizens, right here. Thank you. (Applause)

Solution

  1. driven
  2. overwhelmed
  3. controlled
  4. etete
  5. citizens
  6. latin
  7. niyazov
  8. collection
  9. banks
  10. profits
  11. shortly
  12. elite
  13. simply
  14. proved
  15. companies
  16. proudly
  17. convicted
  18. called
  19. dollars
  20. alley
  21. making
  22. universities
  23. millions
  24. investigator
  25. corruption
  26. nation
  27. relationship
  28. guess
  29. appeared
  30. transparency
  31. stuff
  32. study
  33. annual
  34. solutions
  35. presidential
  36. rights
  37. including
  38. surface
  39. scale
  40. exposé
  41. politicians
  42. months
  43. secretive
  44. talked
  45. equatorial
  46. small
  47. shell
  48. laughed
  49. effect
  50. earlier
  51. misuse
  52. accounts
  53. assets
  54. survive
  55. challenge
  56. living
  57. guinea
  58. ordinary
  59. exports
  60. business
  61. youtube
  62. flows
  63. payments
  64. countries
  65. straightforward
  66. complex
  67. information
  68. tackle
  69. luxury
  70. block
  71. miserable
  72. virgin
  73. government
  74. italian
  75. happen
  76. million
  77. schools
  78. junior
  79. region
  80. society
  81. states
  82. paying
  83. congo
  84. involved
  85. court
  86. apiece
  87. mining
  88. islands
  89. global
  90. billion
  91. people
  92. bills
  93. place
  94. greed
  95. feeling
  96. official
  97. money
  98. governance
  99. soviet
  100. hundreds
  101. accept

Original Text

When we talk about corruption, there are typical types of individuals that spring to mind. There's the former Soviet megalomaniacs. Saparmurat Niyazov, he was one of them. Until his death in 2006, he was the all-powerful leader of Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country rich in natural gas. Now, he really loved to issue presidential decrees. And one renamed the months of the year including after himself and his mother. He spent millions of dollars creating a bizarre personality cult, and his crowning glory was the building of a 40-foot-high gold-plated statue of himself which stood proudly in the capital's central square and rotated to follow the sun. He was a slightly unusual guy. And then there's that cliché, the African dictator or minister or official. There's Teodorín Obiang. So his daddy is president for life of Equatorial Guinea, a West African nation that has exported billions of dollars of oil since the 1990s and yet has a truly appalling human rights record. The vast majority of its people are living in really miserable poverty despite an income per capita that's on a par with that of Portugal. So Obiang junior, well, he buys himself a $30 million mansion in Malibu, California. I've been up to its front gates. I can tell you it's a magnificent spread. He bought an €18 million art collection that used to belong to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, a stack of fabulous sports cars, some costing a million dollars apiece — oh, and a Gulfstream jet, too. Now get this: Until recently, he was earning an official monthly salary of less than 7,000 dollars. And there's Dan Etete. Well, he was the former oil minister of Nigeria under President Abacha, and it just so happens he's a convicted money launderer too. We've spent a great deal of time investigating a $1 billion — that's right, a $1 billion — oil deal that he was involved with, and what we found was pretty shocking, but more about that later. So it's easy to think that corruption happens somewhere over there, carried out by a bunch of greedy despots and individuals up to no good in countries that we, personally, may know very little about and feel really unconnected to and unaffected by what might be going on. But does it just happen over there? Well, at 22, I was very lucky. My first job out of university was investigating the illegal trade in African ivory. And that's how my relationship with corruption really began. In 1993, with two friends who were colleagues, Simon Taylor and Patrick Alley, we set up an organization called Global Witness. Our first campaign was investigating the role of illegal logging in funding the war in Cambodia. So a few years later, and it's now 1997, and I'm in Angola undercover investigating blood diamonds. Perhaps you saw the film, the Hollywood film "Blood Diamond," the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Well, some of that sprang from our work. Luanda, it was full of land mine victims who were struggling to survive on the streets and war orphans living in sewers under the streets, and a tiny, very wealthy elite who gossiped about shopping trips to Brazil and Portugal. And it was a slightly crazy place. So I'm sitting in a hot and very stuffy hotel room feeling just totally overwhelmed. But it wasn't about blood diamonds. Because I'd been speaking to lots of people there who, well, they talked about a different problem: that of a massive web of corruption on a global scale and millions of oil dollars going missing. And for what was then a very small organization of just a few people, trying to even begin to think how we might tackle that was an enormous challenge. And in the years that I've been, and we've all been campaigning and investigating, I've repeatedly seen that what makes corruption on a global, massive scale possible, well it isn't just greed or the misuse of power or that nebulous phrase "weak governance." I mean, yes, it's all of those, but corruption, it's made possible by the actions of global facilitators. So let's go back to some of those people I talked about earlier. Now, they're all people we've investigated, and they're all people who couldn't do what they do alone. Take Obiang junior. Well, he didn't end up with high-end art and luxury houses without help. He did business with global banks. A bank in Paris held accounts of companies controlled by him, one of which was used to buy the art, and American banks, well, they funneled 73 million dollars into the States, some of which was used to buy that California mansion. And he didn't do all of this in his own name either. He used shell companies. He used one to buy the property, and another, which was in somebody else's name, to pay the huge bills it cost to run the place. And then there's Dan Etete. Well, when he was oil minister, he awarded an oil block now worth over a billion dollars to a company that, guess what, yeah, he was the hidden owner of. Now, it was then much later traded on with the kind assistance of the Nigerian government — now I have to be careful what I say here — to subsidiaries of Shell and the Italian Eni, two of the biggest oil companies around. So the reality is, is that the engine of corruption, well, it exists far beyond the shores of countries like Equatorial Guinea or Nigeria or Turkmenistan. This engine, well, it's driven by our international banking system, by the problem of anonymous shell companies, and by the secrecy that we have afforded big oil, gas and mining operations, and, most of all, by the failure of our politicians to back up their rhetoric and do something really meaningful and systemic to tackle this stuff. Now let's take the banks first. Well, it's not going to come as any surprise for me to tell you that banks accept dirty money, but they prioritize their profits in other destructive ways too. For example, in Sarawak, Malaysia. Now this region, it has just five percent of its forests left intact. Five percent. So how did that happen? Well, because an elite and its facilitators have been making millions of dollars from supporting logging on an industrial scale for many years. So we sent an undercover investigator in to secretly film meetings with members of the ruling elite, and the resulting footage, well, it made some people very angry, and you can see that on YouTube, but it proved what we had long suspected, because it showed how the state's chief minister, despite his later denials, used his control over land and forest licenses to enrich himself and his family. And HSBC, well, we know that HSBC bankrolled the region's largest logging companies that were responsible for some of that destruction in Sarawak and elsewhere. The bank violated its own sustainability policies in the process, but it earned around 130 million dollars. Now shortly after our exposé, very shortly after our exposé earlier this year, the bank announced a policy review on this. And is this progress? Maybe, but we're going to be keeping a very close eye on that case. And then there's the problem of anonymous shell companies. Well, we've all heard about what they are, I think, and we all know they're used quite a bit by people and companies who are trying to avoid paying their proper dues to society, also known as taxes. But what doesn't usually come to light is how shell companies are used to steal huge sums of money, transformational sums of money, from poor countries. In virtually every case of corruption that we've investigated, shell companies have appeared, and sometimes it's been impossible to find out who is really involved in the deal. A recent study by the World Bank looked at 200 cases of corruption. It found that over 70 percent of those cases had used anonymous shell companies, totaling almost 56 billion dollars. Now many of these companies were in America or the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and so it's not just an offshore problem, it's an on-shore one too. You see, shell companies, they're central to the secret deals which may benefit wealthy elites rather than ordinary citizens. One striking recent case that we've investigated is how the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo sold off a series of valuable, state-owned mining assets to shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. So we spoke to sources in country, trawled through company documents and other information trying to piece together a really true picture of the deal. And we were alarmed to find that these shell companies had quickly flipped many of the assets on for huge profits to major international mining companies listed in London. Now, the Africa Progress Panel, led by Kofi Annan, they've calculated that Congo may have lost more than 1.3 billion dollars from these deals. That's almost twice the country's annual health and education budget combined. And will the people of Congo, will they ever get their money back? Well, the answer to that question, and who was really involved and what really happened, well that's going to probably remain locked away in the secretive company registries of the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere unless we all do something about it. And how about the oil, gas and mining companies? Okay, maybe it's a bit of a cliché to talk about them. Corruption in that sector, no surprise. There's corruption everywhere, so why focus on that sector? Well, because there's a lot at stake. In 2011, natural resource exports outweighed aid flows by almost 19 to one in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Nineteen to one. Now that's a hell of a lot of schools and universities and hospitals and business startups, many of which haven't materialized and never will because some of that money has simply been stolen away. Now let's go back to the oil and mining companies, and let's go back to Dan Etete and that $1 billion deal. And now forgive me, I'm going to read the next bit because it's a very live issue, and our lawyers have been through this in some detail and they want me to get it right. Now, on the surface, the deal appeared straightforward. Subsidiaries of Shell and Eni paid the Nigerian government for the block. The Nigerian government transferred precisely the same amount, to the very dollar, to an account earmarked for a shell company whose hidden owner was Etete. Now, that's not bad going for a convicted money launderer. And here's the thing. After many months of digging around and reading through hundreds of pages of court documents, we found evidence that, in fact, Shell and Eni had known that the funds would be transferred to that shell company, and frankly, it's hard to believe they didn't know who they were really dealing with there. Now, it just shouldn't take these sorts of efforts to find out where the money in deals like this went. I mean, these are state assets. They're supposed to be used for the benefit of the people in the country. But in some countries, citizens and journalists who are trying to expose stories like this have been harassed and arrested and some have even risked their lives to do so. And finally, well, there are those who believe that corruption is unavoidable. It's just how some business is done. It's too complex and difficult to change. So in effect, what? We just accept it. But as a campaigner and investigator, I have a different view, because I've seen what can happen when an idea gains momentum. In the oil and mining sector, for example, there is now the beginning of a truly worldwide transparency standard that could tackle some of these problems. In 1999, when Global Witness called for oil companies to make payments on deals transparent, well, some people laughed at the extreme naiveté of that small idea. But literally hundreds of civil society groups from around the world came together to fight for transparency, and now it's fast becoming the norm and the law. Two thirds of the value of the world's oil and mining companies are now covered by transparency laws. Two thirds. So this is change happening. This is progress. But we're not there yet, by far. Because it really isn't about corruption somewhere over there, is it? In a globalized world, corruption is a truly globalized business, and one that needs global solutions, supported and pushed by us all, as global citizens, right here. Thank you. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
shell companies 6
million dollars 3
dan etete 3
billion dollars 3
nigerian government 3
anonymous shell 3
convicted money 2
money launderer 2
global witness 2
blood diamonds 2
hidden owner 2
oil companies 2
british virgin 2
virgin islands 2
mining companies 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
convicted money launderer 2
british virgin islands 2

Important Words

  1. abacha
  2. accept
  3. account
  4. accounts
  5. actions
  6. afforded
  7. africa
  8. african
  9. aid
  10. alarmed
  11. alley
  12. america
  13. american
  14. amount
  15. angola
  16. angry
  17. annan
  18. announced
  19. annual
  20. anonymous
  21. answer
  22. apiece
  23. appalling
  24. appeared
  25. applause
  26. arrested
  27. art
  28. asia
  29. asian
  30. assets
  31. assistance
  32. avoid
  33. awarded
  34. bad
  35. bank
  36. banking
  37. bankrolled
  38. banks
  39. began
  40. beginning
  41. belong
  42. benefit
  43. big
  44. biggest
  45. billion
  46. billions
  47. bills
  48. bit
  49. bizarre
  50. block
  51. blood
  52. bought
  53. brazil
  54. british
  55. budget
  56. building
  57. bunch
  58. business
  59. buy
  60. buys
  61. calculated
  62. california
  63. called
  64. cambodia
  65. campaign
  66. campaigner
  67. campaigning
  68. capita
  69. careful
  70. carried
  71. cars
  72. case
  73. cases
  74. central
  75. challenge
  76. change
  77. chief
  78. citizens
  79. civil
  80. cliché
  81. close
  82. colleagues
  83. collection
  84. combined
  85. companies
  86. company
  87. complex
  88. congo
  89. control
  90. controlled
  91. convicted
  92. corruption
  93. cost
  94. costing
  95. countries
  96. country
  97. court
  98. covered
  99. crazy
  100. creating
  101. crown
  102. crowning
  103. cult
  104. daddy
  105. dan
  106. deal
  107. dealing
  108. deals
  109. death
  110. decrees
  111. democratic
  112. denials
  113. dependencies
  114. designer
  115. despots
  116. destruction
  117. destructive
  118. detail
  119. diamond
  120. diamonds
  121. dicaprio
  122. dictator
  123. difficult
  124. digging
  125. dirty
  126. documents
  127. dollar
  128. dollars
  129. driven
  130. dues
  131. earlier
  132. earmarked
  133. earned
  134. earning
  135. easy
  136. education
  137. effect
  138. efforts
  139. elite
  140. elites
  141. engine
  142. eni
  143. enormous
  144. enrich
  145. equatorial
  146. etete
  147. evidence
  148. exists
  149. exported
  150. exports
  151. expose
  152. exposé
  153. extreme
  154. eye
  155. fabulous
  156. facilitators
  157. fact
  158. failure
  159. family
  160. fashion
  161. fast
  162. feel
  163. feeling
  164. fight
  165. film
  166. finally
  167. find
  168. flipped
  169. flows
  170. focus
  171. follow
  172. footage
  173. forest
  174. forests
  175. forgive
  176. frankly
  177. friends
  178. front
  179. full
  180. funding
  181. funds
  182. funneled
  183. gains
  184. gas
  185. gates
  186. global
  187. globalized
  188. glory
  189. good
  190. gossiped
  191. governance
  192. government
  193. great
  194. greed
  195. greedy
  196. groups
  197. guess
  198. guinea
  199. gulfstream
  200. guy
  201. happen
  202. happened
  203. happening
  204. harassed
  205. hard
  206. health
  207. heard
  208. held
  209. hell
  210. hidden
  211. hollywood
  212. hospitals
  213. hot
  214. hotel
  215. houses
  216. hsbc
  217. huge
  218. human
  219. hundreds
  220. idea
  221. illegal
  222. impossible
  223. including
  224. income
  225. individuals
  226. industrial
  227. information
  228. intact
  229. international
  230. investigated
  231. investigating
  232. investigator
  233. involved
  234. islands
  235. issue
  236. italian
  237. ivory
  238. jet
  239. job
  240. journalists
  241. junior
  242. keeping
  243. kind
  244. kingdom
  245. kofi
  246. land
  247. largest
  248. latin
  249. laughed
  250. launderer
  251. laurent
  252. law
  253. laws
  254. lawyers
  255. leader
  256. led
  257. left
  258. leonardo
  259. licenses
  260. life
  261. light
  262. listed
  263. literally
  264. live
  265. lives
  266. living
  267. locked
  268. logging
  269. london
  270. long
  271. looked
  272. lost
  273. lot
  274. lots
  275. loved
  276. luanda
  277. lucky
  278. luxury
  279. magnificent
  280. major
  281. majority
  282. making
  283. malaysia
  284. malibu
  285. mansion
  286. massive
  287. materialized
  288. meaningful
  289. meetings
  290. megalomaniacs
  291. members
  292. million
  293. millions
  294. mind
  295. mining
  296. minister
  297. miserable
  298. missing
  299. misuse
  300. momentum
  301. money
  302. monthly
  303. months
  304. mother
  305. naiveté
  306. nation
  307. natural
  308. nebulous
  309. nigeria
  310. nigerian
  311. nineteen
  312. niyazov
  313. norm
  314. obiang
  315. official
  316. offshore
  317. oil
  318. operations
  319. ordinary
  320. organization
  321. orphans
  322. outweighed
  323. overseas
  324. overwhelmed
  325. owner
  326. pages
  327. paid
  328. panel
  329. par
  330. paris
  331. patrick
  332. pay
  333. paying
  334. payments
  335. people
  336. percent
  337. personality
  338. personally
  339. phrase
  340. picture
  341. piece
  342. place
  343. policies
  344. policy
  345. politicians
  346. poor
  347. portugal
  348. poverty
  349. power
  350. precisely
  351. president
  352. presidential
  353. pretty
  354. prioritize
  355. problem
  356. problems
  357. process
  358. profits
  359. progress
  360. proper
  361. property
  362. proudly
  363. proved
  364. pushed
  365. question
  366. quickly
  367. read
  368. reading
  369. reality
  370. record
  371. region
  372. registries
  373. relationship
  374. remain
  375. renamed
  376. repeatedly
  377. republic
  378. resource
  379. responsible
  380. resulting
  381. review
  382. rhetoric
  383. rich
  384. rights
  385. risked
  386. role
  387. room
  388. rotated
  389. ruling
  390. run
  391. saint
  392. salary
  393. saparmurat
  394. sarawak
  395. scale
  396. schools
  397. secrecy
  398. secret
  399. secretive
  400. secretly
  401. sector
  402. series
  403. set
  404. sewers
  405. shell
  406. shocking
  407. shopping
  408. shores
  409. shortly
  410. showed
  411. simon
  412. simply
  413. sitting
  414. slightly
  415. small
  416. society
  417. sold
  418. solutions
  419. sorts
  420. sources
  421. soviet
  422. speaking
  423. spent
  424. spoke
  425. sports
  426. sprang
  427. spread
  428. spring
  429. square
  430. stack
  431. stake
  432. standard
  433. startups
  434. state
  435. states
  436. statue
  437. steal
  438. stolen
  439. stood
  440. stories
  441. straightforward
  442. streets
  443. striking
  444. struggling
  445. study
  446. stuff
  447. stuffy
  448. subsidiaries
  449. sums
  450. sun
  451. supported
  452. supporting
  453. supposed
  454. surface
  455. surprise
  456. survive
  457. suspected
  458. sustainability
  459. system
  460. systemic
  461. tackle
  462. talk
  463. talked
  464. taxes
  465. taylor
  466. teodorín
  467. territories
  468. thirds
  469. time
  470. tiny
  471. totaling
  472. totally
  473. trade
  474. traded
  475. transferred
  476. transformational
  477. transparency
  478. transparent
  479. trawled
  480. trips
  481. true
  482. turkmenistan
  483. types
  484. typical
  485. unaffected
  486. unavoidable
  487. unconnected
  488. undercover
  489. united
  490. universities
  491. university
  492. unusual
  493. valuable
  494. vast
  495. victims
  496. view
  497. violated
  498. virgin
  499. virtually
  500. war
  501. ways
  502. wealthy
  503. web
  504. west
  505. witness
  506. work
  507. world
  508. worldwide
  509. worth
  510. yeah
  511. year
  512. years
  513. youtube
  514. yves