Italian mafia expert Roberto Saviano said that the UK is the most corrupt country on the planet and the comment has been backed by anti-corruption campaigners.
“If I asked you what is the most corrupt place on Earth you might tell me it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy, and I will tell you it’s the UK,” Saviano told a crowd at the Hay Festival. “It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police, it’s not the politics but what is corrupt is the financial capital.”
The leading mafia expert has been under police protection since he exposed the activities of Naples crime syndicate called the Camorra. His statement about the UK is now supported by the anti-corruption campaigners.
“It’s absolutely true that the UK is one of the leading financial centres for the laundering of corrupt money from overseas, whether through the property market, luxury goods or other sectors,” the Independent quoted Rachel Davies, head of UK advocacy and research of the anti-corruption campaigner Transparency International.
“The UK has been a prime location for stashing away illicitly gained wealth, as anti-money laundering systems are weak and sectors such as UK property represent a safe investment, as well as a place to hide corrupt money,” she added.
Transparency International has ranked the UK at the 10th place in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index. According to Saviano, the criminal capital enters Europe through Jersey and the Cayman’s and the UK is the nation that allows it. “That is why it is important why it is so crucial for me to be here today and to talk to you because I want to tell you, this is about you, this is about your life, this is about your government,” the Metro quoted him as saying.
After UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s name surfaced in the Panama Papers leak in which it was revealed that his father ran an offshore company, the Transparency International claimed that the UK is allowing the laundering of tens of thousands of pounds. According to the campaign group, this is being done with the help of “professional enablers” who do not face tough sentences if caught.