World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders

A snapshot of global corruption

Transparency International is an organization that tracks and reports on global instances of corruption in politics, education, and other sectors. In 2004, they reported on (as of then) the rankings of the world's most corrupt leaders1, by order of funds embezzled. They have not updated this list since 2004, with most of their reports focusing on whole countries rather than individual leaders. They do regularly update the list of the world's most corrupt countries.

As of 2021, many of the leaders on the list have gone to court for corruption charges, human rights abuses, and other legal issues arising from their abuse of power. Slobodan Milosevic famously died in the midst of his trial for war crimes during the Yugoslav Wars of the late 1990s. 

NamePositionFunds embezzled2
1. Mohamed SuhartoPresident of Indonesia (1967–1998)$15–35 billion
2. Ferdinand MarcosPresident of the Philippines (1972–1986)5–10 billion
3. Mobutu Sese SekoPresident of Zaire (1965–1997)5 billion
4. Sani AbachaPresident of Nigeria (1993–1998)2–5 billion
5. Slobodan MilosevicPresident of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000)1 billion
6. Jean-Claude DuvalierPresident of Haiti (1971–1986)300–800 million
7. Alberto FujimoriPresident of Peru (1990–2000)600 million
8. Pavlo LazarenkoPrime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997)114–200 million
9. Arnoldo AlemánPresident of Nicaragua (1997–2002)100 million
10. Joseph EstradaPresident of the Philippines (1998–2001)78–80 million
1. Defined as former political leaders who have been accused of embezzling the most funds from their countries over the past two decades.
2. All sums are estimates of alleged embezzlement and appear in U.S. dollars.
Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004.
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