Most Corrupt Countries

  1. Somalia: Somalia is the world’s most corrupt nation. Torn apart by rival warlords in the early 1990s, the current government is weak and a climate of lawlessness prevails, with almost every aspect of life in the country sadly affected by rampant corruption. Several forms of corruption are illegal in the country, however implementation of the law is non-existent and Somalia is rife with embezzlement, abuse of office, and bribery.
  2. South Sudan: A textbook kleptocracy, South Sudan's public officials have stolen untold amounts of public money and are only too willing to accept monetary payments and gifts. Anti-corruption legislation isn't enforced and wrongdoers are free to act in the knowledge they won't be prosecuted for their crimes. No wonder the country remains the second most corrupt on the planet.
  3. Syria: The war-torn nation remains a wholly corrupt country as it is led by president Bashar al-Assad, who has killed many of his people over the past few years. The president's family and supporters control almost everything in the chaotic country, and are involved in myriad dubious dealings, from stealing aid money to trading in illegal arms.
  4. Yemen: The brutal civil war plunged the country into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and decimated the country's economy, which isn't helped by widespread nepotism that impedes any attempts at investment in the country. Deep-rooted corruption is hampering any meaningful attempts at recovery, and extortion and passive bribery are both legal and common practice.
  5. Equatorial Guinea: While much of the population suffers extreme poverty, the president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his family live like royalty. In October 2017, the president's son, Teodorín  was given a three-year suspended sentence by a French court for allegedly stealing millions of dollars in public money to fund his extravagant playboy lifestyle.
  6. Sudan: The conflict-ravaged country has a profound problem with bribery, cronyism and nepotism in particular, and entrepreneurs in Sudan have to know the right people or pay off officials to achieve anything. 
  7. Venezuela: The country continues to battle a severe economic crisis that has led to increased poverty and higher crime rates, despite having the world's largest oil reserves. Bribery, theft of public money and nepotism are commonplace in government and the police force. 
  8. Afghanistan: Afghanistan continues to deal with systemic corruption and the threat of Taliban violence. Family ties and tribal connections are especially strong in the country, making nepotism a massive issue. Bribery, graft and illegal land transfers are also endemic. Corruption also stretches to narcotics as Afghanistan is the world's top producer of opium for heroin, with efforts to combat this trade at a low.
  9. North Korea: Corruption from the top down is a key feature of life in North Korea , where human rights are virtually non-existent. It has been reported that corruption has risen as officials will ask for bribes to ignore North Koreans who are using phones to call South Korea.
  10. Guinea Bissau: This small country is still riddled with crooked dealings and has become a major hub for cocaine smugglers from Latin America to Europe. Several senior military figures are alleged to be involved in the trafficking of narcotics, and corruption pervades all aspects of the public sphere. The fact that no president has finished a term since the first multi-party elections in 1994 hasn't helped.
  11. Libya: Corruption is still endemic in the country. The nation's natural rich resources have even encouraged this. Libya has the largest crude oil reserves in Africa, and oil traders have manipulated the black market exchange rate to take money away from the country, siphoning it off into foreign bank accounts.
  12. Haiti: Haiti is riddled with corruption, from drug trafficking to gang violence. Citizens took to the streets in protest after Haiti's Senate released a report accusing two former prime ministers and other officials of embezzlement and forgery relating to funds in an oil programme in Venezuela. 
  13. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Despite having had its first peaceful transfer of power in the country's 60-year history with the appointment of Felix Tshisekedi as president in 2019, corruption is a way of life in the republic, which has been mired in conflict for decades. 
  14. Turkmenistan: Power in the landlocked central Asian nation is concentrated in the hands of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who, along with his family, controls every aspect of public life with an iron fist. Turkmenistan also has the worst press freedom in the world according to Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index, with very few citizens having access to the highly-censored version of the internet and rumours and heresay being the prevailing form of communciation.
  15. Republic of the Congo: Republic of the Congo is as corrupt as ever and crooked activities pervade the public sector. The country's political elite have been the subject of multiple reports of corruption, from money laundering to embezzlement of public funds, none of which have been reprimanded by the authorities. President Denis Sassou Nguesso continues to keep an iron grip on power, and government institutions are all-too susceptible to his malign interference.
  16. Burundi: Corruption has become more entrenched in Burundi due to among other things weak political leadership to fight against it.
  17. Iraq: Iraq is still a long way from being a safe, transparent nation. Maintaining a strong and stable government remains the country’s biggest challenge, with institutional reforms constantly delayed, as well as ongoing political infighting and corruption. The opening up of the nation's oil reserves was intended to benefit the economy, but the money from the lucrative industry has allegedly been taken by corrupt politicians. 
  18. Chad: Little has been done to deal with corruption in Chad .Nepotism and cronyism are especially rife in the country, extortion and petty corruption pervade the police force, and bribery is ubiquitous in all areas of public life. At the end of 2019, the US criticised Chad, amongst other West African countries in the Sahel region, for not doing more to combat Islamist violence.
  19. Cambodia: Cambodia has rigorous anti-corruption legislation in place, but the law is rarely enforced, and public officials act with impunity when it comes to accepting bribes. This makes doing business in the country a nightmare, as companies need to facilitate payments and gifts to get anything done.
  20. Nicaragua: Political, social and business groups have little to no influence on political decisions in Nicaragua. Parties and civil society who are not in power are excluded from the processes that go into making policy, while groups that are critical of the government move in increasingly restrictive spheres.

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