THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO SEE THE IAAC’S ACTIVITY FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE
When did such significant upheavals occur in our country? When such large-scale financial crimes were detected. Who was the ability to combat crimes involving high-level political and business groups? This is the biggest sign that things are getting better.
It may be called a big "battle".
I had a thought when I came across some data a few days ago. Only 2-4 cases of corruption were resolved in court annually between 2007 and 2017. You may get this information as well. This is absolutely true. However, since 2017, this issue has received extra attention. In 2017, 66 corruption cases were resolved in court in a single year. This figure demonstrates the fundamental cause of a great deal of our problems. Do you know what Turkey calls its buildings of the courts? It is not called a courthouse. It is called “adliye” in Turkish, meaning house of justice or palace of justice. They say that unjust decisions should not be made by the House of Justice. Indeed it is. But how is it in our country? Why do the cases detected by the Independent Authority Against Corruption have a different fate outcome when they are brought before a judge? Unfortunately, a number of people are demanding the liquidation of the Mongolian Independent Authority Against Corruption.
In reality, the Court has a lot of problems and some cases are not appropriately resolved. This is especially true in cases of corruption.
It took 10 years to implement the anti-corruption law even though our parliament passed it in 1996. Meanwhile, the Mongolian court has been "stuck" for a decade on cases of corruption. After that, on July 6, 2006, the Great Khural, the parliament of Mongolia, approved a new anti-corruption law, and it went into effect on November 1, 2006. The Independent Authority Against Corruption was established for the first time in Mongolia in accordance with this law. It begins its operation on January 11, 2007. Since then, 15 years have passed. Fifteen-year history of the Independent Authority Against Corruption is not one of combating the most heinous crimes, but rather one of overcoming internal politics. The Mongolian Independent Authority Against Corruption, however, has maintained its resolve.
What types of public appeals are made when major corruption cases are discovered and officials are investigated? Most people will respond to this question. Without any remorse, some high-level officials have asked to "liquidate the Independent Authority Against Corruption". It was not easy, and there were challenging moments that were postponed throughout these many years. I met and talked with the people who led the protest. They all contributed to the strength of this unique organization and raised its profile in the neighborhood.
There have been attempts to discredit the agency, taking advantage of any scandalous incidents. For example, requesting to liquidate the agency, or calling to "make the Independent Authority Against Corruption a place with the role of public awareness and crime prevention only."
The "battle" against corruption and the fight against theft of government property in recent years have made it clearer to us when and where criminals or thieves strike. We've wasted a lot of time trying to perceive and comprehend. Now it's time for us to adopt a new perspective when it comes to the Independent Authority Against Corruption. Have you ever been interested in what they are doing, what kind of work they have done, and what are the outcomes? Let me provide you with some information if you haven't seen it.
A completely new type of attention has entered the works of the Independent Authority Against Corruption. As a journalist who has been working on the topics of political and economic crimes for many years, I want to emphasize that this is a completely new way to uncover corruption cases because it is truly unprecedented in the history of our fight against corruption. Money leaves a trace. The money is traced back to where it was stolen, what was bought with it, and where it was taken. This is the main approach the Independent Authority Against Corruption uses in its activities. The Independent Authority Against Corruption's new idea for this duty is to return stolen funds from overseas to the country. None of our legal organizations has ever carried out such a task before.
I want to highlight that this is the first time conducting an asset recovery operation in Mongolia which is done by the Independent Authority Against Corruption recently. Because corruption causes crimes that cross borders, create organized criminal activities and a network with huge connections, have many types of transformations and are well planned. One country cannot fight this type of crime alone. It is a work that is fought at the international level, in cooperation with other countries' anti-corruption agencies within the legal framework, and provides mutual assistance. Z. Dashdavaa, the commissioner in charge and head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption, is undoubtedly pursuing a new course in this respect. According to the relevant officials, the assets, worth 12.2 million US dollars, have recently been recovered from overseas.
Additionally, the Independent Authority Against Corruption is also compensating the funds amounting to trillions owing to the corruption crime at the investigation stage without waiting for the stage of court discussion. For instance, 96.2 billion MNT in 2021 and 2.3 trillion MNT in 2022 were paid as compensation during the investigation stage. This is the final outcome.
The Media Division of the Independent Authority Against Corruption claimed that "last year, the overall loss and damage that is caused by corrupt activities was 5 trillion MNT" when presenting figures on the harm and loss that corrupt activities brought to the nation. While the investigation is underway, 47% of it is returned back to the state.
The Independent Authority Against Corruption seized the assets of 117 billion MNT in 2021, and the assets of 516 billion MNT in 2022. In this way, the assets worth of half a trillion MNT will be recovered to the country in 2023 assuming our Court does not freeze corruption cases as usual.
The rise in corruption prosecutions is undoubtedly a negative thing, but if they can all be appropriately prosecuted, only the proceeds of the confiscation procedure will bring half a trillion MNT back to the country.
You may be wondering why corruption results in such substantial harm. More specifically, you want to know why corruption persists despite the establishment of an anti-corruption body. There is only one answer. Corruption offenses of this size would not have been discovered if it weren't for the Independent Authority Against Corruption. You can discover more. What I found out may not be complete.
Therefore, the liquidation of the Independent Authority Against Corruption, ongoing management changes, and the decline o its legislative power will reduce the intensity of work in this area. We don't need it.
On the contrary, instead of liquidating the Independent Authority Against Corruption, we should have branches in all provinces and increase the number of staff. When assessing the performance of this agency, which recovers assets valued at 2.3 billion dollars annually, fairer metrics should be employed. Now, instead of criticizing this agency from the outside, we want to look at it from a different perspective. Now...
Finally, what should we do to become corruption free? Corruption must be fought universally. In this regard, a comprehensive set of actions should be taken, including making transparent the funding of political parties and election candidates, as well as implementing good corporate governance at state-owned enterprises. You can't just blame the Independent Authority Against Corruption for everything and attack it anytime you want…