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FIFA scam: Ex-Peru soccer prez held, Ecuador football chief’s arrest ordered

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Lima (Peru): The former president of Peru’s soccer federation Manuel Burga was arrested amid an ongoing US-led investigation into corruption at the sport’s world governing body FIFA.

Burga was among 16 people, including current and former Latin American soccer chiefs, who were charged with bribery schemes by the US officials, Xinhua reported.

Burga, 58, who was head of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) for 12 years till 2014, denied wrongdoing as police arrested him on Saturday in Lima.

“I reiterate that I’m innocent. I haven’t received any bungs or bribes,” Burga said.

Burga was suspected of receiving bribes and kickbacks for granting broadcasting rights of Copa America matches to company Torneos y Campeonatos (TyC).

Ecuador orders arrest of its football chief

Ecuador ordered the arrest of its football federation (FEF) president Luis Chiriboga after he was named by US authorities as one of the 16 people connected with a multi-million dollar bribery scandal.

Chiriboga was suspended by the FEF board for a period of 90 days, after his bank accounts, and those of two other FEF officials, were frozen by prosecutors, and the FEF offices in the coastal city of Guayaquil were searched, reports Xinhua.

FEF vice-president Luis Villacis was put in charge after Chiriboga was suspended from his post.

The measures came after US Attorney General Loretta Lynch accused 16 former and current football officials in Latin America, including Chiriboga, of corruption.

Ecuadoran Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said that information from Lynch’s office has been added to the investigation over the FEF officials.

“These crimes were committed in Ecuador, therefore Ecuadoran justice department and the National Attorney General’s Office have all the constitutional rights to investigate them,” said Galo Chiriboga.

Luis Chiriboga’s lawyer, meanwhile, said he had the evidence to clear his client of the charges and would provide them when the time came.

(IANS)

(Image courtesy: crainsnewyork)

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The United States Of America Drops Out Of Top 20 Corrupt Countries

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom.

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USA, Corruption
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through his transparent teleprompter as he speaks during the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 17, 2019. VOA

A global anti-corruption watchdog says the United States has dropped four spots in its list of nations’ anti-corruption efforts and is now no longer listed in the top 20 for the first time.

Acting U.S. Representative at Transparency International, Zoe Reiter, calls a four point drop in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) a “red flag.”

She says it comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.”

USA. government
Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally,” Reiter says.

The United States scored a 71 in the perceptions index after scoring 75 the previous year.

“The expert opinion captured by the CPI supports the deep concern over corruption in government reported by America in our 2017 survey. Both experts and the public believe the situation is getting worse,” Reiter said.

Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Transparency International uses several criteria for measuring how well a country is fighting corruption, including checks and balances on political power, controls on conflicts of interest and private influence on government, and voter suppression.

Also Read: World’s Anti-Corruption Day

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom. (VOA)