CORRUPTION, INCOMPETENCE AND A MUSICAL: NAURU’S CURSED HISTORY

More on Nauru where the Pacific Islands Forum is being held.  The Guardian on 3rd September carried an article saying that the once-wealthy island now barely survives on income from Australia’s detention regime and is pinning its economic hopes on undersea mining backed by Glencore.  It says that a series of corrupt and incompetent governments found extravagant and spectacular ways to lose the country’s wealth built up from phosphate mining, including a flop of a London musical based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci.  In the 90s it embarked on being a money laundering haven selling banking licences and passports, including diplomatic passports, which confer immunity with customers included the Russian mafia and al-Qaida.  An estimated $70 billion in Russian mafia money went through Nauru’s banks in 1998 alone.  It was then listed by the US Treasury in 2002 and made subject to sanctions.  By 2004 Nauru had passed AML/CFT laws and the offshore banking sector seems to have disappeared as fast as it arrived.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/04/corruption-incompetence-and-a-musical-naurus-riches-to-rags-tale