CHINA

Head of State Statistics Bureau under investigation

Baoan Wang, the Head of China's Statistics Bureau has been placed under investigation by the Ministry of Supervision (MOS), one of China's anti-graft authorities, for "serious violations of party discipline”. Wang became the Head of Statistics Bureau in April 2015; prior to that, he was with state tax and finance authorities.

INDIA

Prime Minister directs customs to take strict action against corruption

At a meeting on 27 January 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Chairman of the Central Board of Customs and Excise, Najib Shah, and other top civil servants that they should take strict action (including dismissal) to crack down on corrupt officers within the customs department. Corruption in Indian customs system has caused a great deal of public grievances and Modi has directed the customs to redress the public grievances by fighting against corruption.

State Ministers resign after bribery case registered

Kerala State's Excise Minister, K Babu and the Finance Minister K M Mani have resigned from their posts after the state vigilance court directed the State vigilance and anti-corruption bureau to register a case against them in connection with bribery allegations. Babu and Mani were alleged to have received bribes from bar owners in exchange for promising a favorable liquor policy. 

PHILIPPINES

Vice President called upon to explain corruption allegations

The Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid, a party contesting the Philippines' 2016 election, has called upon the Vice President Jejomar Binay, to explain corruption allegations made against him during the campaign. Binay was alleged to have engaged in a series of corruption scandals in 2015. A committee was set up by the senate to investigate the allegations. Binay refused to personally appear in front of the committee and only submitted an affidavit to respond the accusations. This has been described as a strategy of silence during the campaign.

MALAYSIA

Swiss investigation of corruption allegation involving Malaysian state-owned companies

On 29 January, the Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber sought Malaysia's cooperation with the investigation of a corruption allegation that over €2.8 billion had been misappropriated from Malaysian state-owned companies. According to Lauber, the investigation concerns "bribery of foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement." Switzerland's investigation into the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has confirmed that a large sum of money had been transferred into accounts in Switzerland. Holders of those accounts include various former Malaysian public officials and former and current public officials from the United Arab Emirates. Malaysia's top prosecutor has given his consent to cooperate with Swiss authorities regarding the Swiss investigation.

VIETNAM

Senior bankers arrested for alleged fraud

Nine former officials of former MHB Bank (which was merged into state-run Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam), including its former chairman and CEO have been arrested in relation to an alleged fraud of millions of US dollars. The nine bankers were charged with "abuse of power and rights when performing public duties".  It is alleged that they used capital from the bank to trade in government bonds and shares for their own profits. If convicted, these bankers will face up to 15 year's imprisonment.

LAOS

Former finance minister probed in relation to corruption allegation

Phouphet Khamphounvong, a finance minister from 2012 to 2014 and four other finance ministry officials were arrested in late December 2015 for alleged involvement in a corruption scheme in which private companies, with the help of “commissions” paid to finance ministry officials, cashed government bonds issued in promise of payment for work they never performed. The scheme caused losses of over US$36 million to the government budget. Before Phouphet was appointed as the Financial Minister in 2012, he had served two terms as bank governor. Corruption among high-level officials in Laos is widespread. According to a report presented to the National Assembly in 2015, Laos suffered losses from corruption of more than US$123 million between 2012 and 2014.