Cabo Verde / Cape Verde - Corruption
In 2015, Cabo Verde ranked 40th on Transparency International’s Corruption perception index, it was second among African nations trailing only Botswana. Cabo Verde has signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention. Corruption is a crime punishable by law. Giving or accepting a bribe is a criminal act and conviction could result in up to eight years in prison. To combat corruption effectively, the Cabo Verdean government established the High Authority against Corruption, and parliament has added three additional prosecutors to enforce the law. Other institutions active in combating corruption include the Judicial Police, the Prosecuting Counsel and the courts. Though there periodically have been rumors of alleged corruption, corruption or the bribery of political officials and/or public servants is not a major issue of concern in Cabo Verde.
Polling released by Afrobarometer in September 2015 showed citizens’ perceptions of corruption in the country had risen in comparison with 2013. The study revealed these perceptions of increased corruption extended beyond the National Assembly and other elected bodies to the National Police, which 19 percent of citizens considered corrupt.
The law provides penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for corruption by officials, and the government implemented the law effectively. Officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity, especially at the municipal level, although there were no new reports of government corruption during the year.
The law sets parameters for public officials to submit declarations of interest, income, and family wealth, and regulates public discussion of this information. These declarations should include any asset worth more than 500,000 escudos ($5,043). Failure to submit a declaration may lead to a prohibition on public officials holding office for a period of one to five years. The SCJ must approve public disclosure of the declarations. When involved in criminal cases of alleged corruption, public officials must declare or prove the source of their income or wealth. The SCJ is in charge of monitoring the law and enforcing compliance, but enforcement was poor.
Cabo Verde is used as a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine destined for Western Europe, particularly because of Lusophone links to Brazil, Portugal, and Guinea-Bissau; has taken steps to deter drug money laundering, including a 2002 anti-money laundering reform that criminalizes laundering the proceeds of narcotics trafficking and other crimes and the establishment in 2008 of a Financial Intelligence Unit.
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