Anti-Corruption Foundation

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Anti-Corruption Foundation
Фонд борьбы с коррупцией
FBK logo new eng.svg
AbbreviationFBK (English)
ФБК (Russian)
Formation9 September 2011
FounderAlexei Navalny
Dissolved9 June 2021
TypeNGO
Legal statusNon-commercial organization (Article 7, NCO Law of Russia)
PurposeAnti-corruption
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
Director
Ivan Zhdanov
Staff
41[1]
Websitefbk.info

The Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK; Russian: Фонд борьбы с коррупцией, romanizedFond borby s korruptsiyey, lit.'Foundation for combating corruption') was a Russian non-profit organization based in Moscow established in 2011 by activist and politician Alexei Navalny. Its main goal was to investigate and to expose corruption cases among high-ranking Russian government officials.[2] The organisation was funded by private donations.

On 9 October 2019, the FBK was declared a "foreign agent" by the Ministry of Justice.[3][4] On 9 June 2021, the FBK was designated as an extremist organization and liquidated by the Moscow City Court.[5][6]

Mission[edit]

FBK Executive Director Vladimir Ashurkov formulated the fund's strategy as pressure on the authorities in order to push them towards internal reforms, working in two directions: organizing situations in which government structures will feel pressure, and creating a real alternative to the current power system.[7]

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

The Foundation was registered on 9 September 2011 (account No. 7714013315, OGRN 1117799018204).[8] According to Vladimir Ashurkov, the founders of the fund gained experience in public and transparent fundraising by organizing financing for the RosPil project. A significant amount was collected through the Yandex.Money payment system, which provided financial support for the project for a year. In parallel, the founders of the fund are working on the idea of involving on a permanent basis professional lawyers and economists in the search for and suppression of corruption schemes in the public procurement system. The contractual basis will allow to get some guarantees, in contrast to the scheme for working with volunteers.[7]

Criminal case and "foreign agent" status[edit]

On 3 August 2019, the SKR opened a criminal case against the FBK, accusing them of laundering ₽1 billion (~US$15.5 mln).[9] Later the amount was reduced to ₽75 million (~US$1.15 mln).[3]

On 5 September 2019, searches were conducted at the FBK office and at the "Navalny LIVE" studio.[10]

Soon after the 2019 Moscow City Duma election, on 12 September 2019 the SKR carried out mass raids on the FBK regional offices in 40 Russian cities.[11][12]

In September 2019, various state-owned companies filed lawsuits against FBK for "organizing riots", and the courts partially satisfied them in the amount of ₽5 million (~US$78 000).[13]

On 8 October 2019, the police filed lawsuit against FBK for "costs of maintaining order during rallies" in the amount of ₽18 million (~US280 000).[14]

On 9 October 2019, the FBK was declared a "foreign agent" by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation due to a payments came from USA and Spain.[15][3][4] One of these payments was the payment of US$50 made by Yuriy Maslikhov, Russian citizen residing in USA. In an interview with journalists, Yuriy Maslikhov stated that he had transferred the money from his PayPal account as an individual and he had been carrying out such donations earlier.[16] Two other payments totalling 138505 and 41 kopecks (~US$2170) were carried out by Spanish citizen Roberto Fabio Monda Cardenas through CaixaBank on 6 and 17 September 2019. Answering a question of journalists how he, unable to speak Russian, found out the wire payment instructions of the Anti-Corruption Foundation after its removing from official website of the organization, Roberto Fabio Monda Cardenas couldn't say a word.[17] These payments were carried out at a time when the bank account of the Anti-Corruption Foundation was frozen at the request of the Investigative Committee of Russia.[18] Despite the fact that the Anti-Corruption Foundation gave the money back, Ministry of Justice of Russia refused to remove the Anti-Corruption Foundation from the register of "foreign agents".[19]

On 15 October 2019, the SKR again carried out mass raids on the FBK regional offices in 30 Russian cities.[20][21]

Change of legal entity and dissolution[edit]

In February 2019, FBK published an investigation that reported that in December 2018, mass food poisoning of children occurred in kindergartens and schools in Moscow. FBK blamed Concord Food Plant LLC, Moskovskiy Shkolnik LLC and VITO-1 LLC for this, which he linked with Yevgeny Prigozhin. Subsequently, Moscow schools No. 760 and No. 1554 assessed fines against Moskovskiy Shkolnik due to the supply of low-quality food.[citation needed]

In April 2019, Moskovskiy Shkolnik filed a lawsuit against FBK, Navalny, FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol, who was in charge of the investigation, and its former employee Natalya Shilova, who was involved in the investigation.

In October 2019, the Moscow Arbitration Court ordered Navalny to pay 29.2 million rubles as compensation for lost profits and damage to professional reputation. The court ordered Lyubov Sobol and FBK to pay the same amount. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision.

In July 2020, Navalny said that he saw no reason to raise money to pay the "huge amount". He announced that the FBK would be liquidated, and that he and Sobol "until the end of Putin's power" would have to live with blocked accounts and bailiffs seizing any of their property in favor of "Putin's chef". Navalny said that he intended to revive the FBK shortly after as another legal entity.[22][23][24][25][26]

Designation as an extremist organization[edit]

On 16 April 2021, the Moscow prosecutor office requested the Moscow City Court to designate organizations linked to Navalny including the FBK and his headquarters as extremist organizations, claiming: "Under the disguise of liberal slogans, these organizations are engaged in creating conditions for the destabilization of the social and socio-political situation."[27] In response, Navalny aide Leonid Volkov stated: "Putin has just announced full-scale mass political repression in Russia."[28]

On 26 April 2021, the Moscow prosecutor office ordered Navalny's network of regional offices to stop its activities, pending a ruling by the court on whether to designate them and the FBK as extremist organizations. The move was condemned by Germany and Amnesty International.[29][30]

On 9 June 2021, Vyacheslav Polyga, judge of Moscow City Court, upheld the administrative claim of the prosecutor of Moscow city Denis Popov and, rejecting all the petitions of the defense, decided[31] to recognize Anti-Corruption Foundation as extremist organization, to liquidate it and to confiscate its assets; similar decision had been taken against Citizens' Rights Protection Foundation; the activity of the Alexei Navalny staff was prohibited (case №3а-1573/2021).[32] Case hearing was held in camera because, as indicated by advocate Ilia Novikov, the case file including the text of the administrative claim was classified as state secret.[33] According to advocate Ivan Pavlov, Alexei Navalny was not the party to the proceedings and the judge refused to give him such status; at the hearing, the prosecutor stated that defendants are extremist organizations because they want the change of power in Russia and they promised to help participants of the protest with payment of administrative and criminal fines and with making a complaints to the European Court of Human Rights.[34][5] On 4 August 2021, First Appellate Ordinary Court located in Moscow upheld the decision of the court of first instance (case №66а-3553/2021) and this decision entered into force that day.[35]

Notable investigations[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[edit]

2017[edit]

2018[edit]

2019[edit]

  • Investigation of Andrey Metelsky, the deputy of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Lyudmila Stebenkova, the deputy of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Stepan Orlov, the deputy of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Kirill Shchitov, the deputy of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Alexei Shaposhnikov, the chairman of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Vladimir Platonov, the former chairman of the Moscow City Duma
  • Investigation of Natalya Sergunina, the vice-mayor of Moscow
  • Investigation of Alexander Gorbenko, the vice-mayor of Moscow
  • Investigation of Pyotr Biryukov, the vice-mayor of Moscow
  • Investigation of Valentin Gorbunov, the head of the MCEC
  • Investigation of Boris Ebzeev, the member of the CEC
  • Investigation of Nikolay Bulaev, the vice-chairman of the CEC
  • Investigation of Anton Siluanov, Russian Minister of Finance

2021[edit]

Financing[edit]

FBK is funded by money transfers from its supporters; mostly these are donations from ordinary people.[49] According to Ashurkov, "constant fundraising is a necessary condition for the functioning" of the fund. The creators want to build a system that will allow the fund "not to depend on one source of funding". In April 2012, the creators estimated the fund's annual budget at approximately $300,000. If more funds are available, the fund will expand.[7]

In 2013, the fund raised 23 million rubles through donations.[50] In 2014 the budget was 28.5 million rubles;[51] in 2016, it was 45 million rubles.[52]

First public sponsors[edit]

The first public sponsors of the fund on 13 February 2012 were the son of the founder of PJSC VimpelCom, businessman Boris Zimin (confirmed that he had already given 300,000 rubles and will give about the same amount every month) and former manager of Alfa Group Vladimir Ashurkov (confirmed that gave 300,000 rubles). On 30 May 2012, the list of the first 16 sponsors of the fund was announced:[53][54]

Name Notes
1 Vladimir Ashurkov Executive director of the Fund
2 Roman Borisovich Vice President of Rosgosstrakh LLC
3 Dmitry Bykov Writer
4 Sergey Grechishkin Managing Partner, Alcantara Asset Management
5 Sergei Guriev Former rector of the New Economic School
6 Ekaterina Zhuravskaya Professor at the Paris School of Economics and the New Economic School
7 Boris Zimin Entrepreneur
8 Kirill Irtyuga Partner of RosinvestHotel Management Company
9 Alexander Lebedev Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Reserve Corporation
10 Artyom Lyubimov First Deputy General Director of Bolshoi Gorod CJSC (accounting services)
11 Leonid Parfyonov Journalist
12 Pavel Prosyankin Financier
13 Alexey Savchenko Director for Strategic Planning, Alfa Group Consortium
14 Denis Sokolov Entrepreneur
15 Victor Yarutov Businessman, co-owner of the Nienschanz Group of Companies
16 Boris Akunin Writer

According to Navalny, "they have already transferred 4.4 million rubles, and guaranteed another 4 million for the second half of the year", which provides most of the planned annual budget of the fund ($300,000).[53]

According to Vladimir Ashurkov and Navalny, the negotiations took place for three months, and some of those with whom they took place eventually decided to refrain from making contributions to the fund. However, many of those who ended up supporting the project, despite not being bound by any contractual obligations, promised to make regular donations. This allows to plan the activities of the fund. In case of an increase in voluntary contributions, it is planned to develop the staff of the fund's projects, giving a special role to the anti-corruption "RosPil". Moreover, all business representatives support the fund financially as individuals.[53]

According to Navalny, in order to help potential donors decide to support the fund and similar projects, the first of those who have already done so will announce their names.[53] And Vladimir Ashurkov suggested that later the names of those who financially support the fund will not be made public, except for cases when the donors themselves ask for it.[53] Ashurkov said that Alfa Group's top manager Alexei Savchenko appeared on the list of sponsors thanks to his acquaintance with him.[53] Navalny noted that the fund has no other sponsors from Alpha.[53] Political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky noted the interest of representatives of big business in the opposition, highlighting Mikhail Fridman.[53]

As a funding strategy for the fund, Navalny stated the collection of small donations, but with the involvement of a wide range of donors, emphasizing the importance of mass support.[55]

Team[edit]

Volunteers and employees of the Anti-Corruption Foundation arrested on 26 March 2017

Current leadership[edit]

Position[56] Name
Founder of FBK Alexey Navalny
Director of FBK Ivan Zhdanov
Executive manager Vladimir Ashurkov
Press secretary Kira Yarmysh
Creative director Varvara Mikhaylova
Head of the legal department Vyacheslav Gimadi
"Navalny Live" YouTube channel producer Lyubov Sobol
Anti-corruption project "RosPil" Alexander Golovach
Anti-corruption project "RosYama" Anatoly Kravchenko
Head of Investigation Department Maria Pevchikh
Deputy Head of Investigation Department Georgy Alburov
Head of IT department Vladislav Romantsov

Team members[edit]

The FBK project managers are Ruslan Shaveddinov, Ilya Pakhomov. The legal department includes: Alexander Pomazuev, Vladlen Los, Evgeny Zamyatin. Valery Zolotukhin is also involved in the RosPil project. Investigation Department team: Anna Saltykova, Inna Evdokimova, Konstantin Diunov. In addition, the team includes video production manager Vitaly Kolesnikov, mailing list manager Yan Matveyev, editor Maria Zakharova, office manager Olga Bulaeva.[56]

The director of the fund from 2014 to December 2018 was Roman Rubanov. Since December 2018, the head of the legal department of the fund, Ivan Zhdanov, has been appointed director.[57]

Since February 2012, the executive director of the fund has been Vladimir Ashurkov, who was forced to leave Alfa Group to work at FBK.[7][58]

Media[edit]

FBK created its own media, 'Leviathan', in order to have a possibility to register for press conferences of Vladimir Putin and make a request to authorities. Since 2016 it has been publishing one news item per day.[59] The name 'Leviathan' was taken from Leviathan, 2014 award-winning film by Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Films[edit]

FBK has made the following films:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Сотрудники" [Staff]. fbk.info (in Russian). Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  2. ^ "About us". Anti-Corruption Foundation. 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Mukhametshina, Elena; Krechetova, Angelina; Chunova, Alexandra (10 October 2019). "Признание ФБК иностранным агентом призвано затруднить его участие в политике" [FBK's recognition as a foreign agent is intended to hinder its participation in politics]. Vedomosti. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Russia brands opposition leader Navalny anti-corruption group a 'foreign agent'". Deutsche Welle. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Russia Blacklists Navalny's Political and Activist Movements as 'Extremist'". The Moscow Times. 9 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Мосгорсуд признал ФБК экстремистской организацией". dw.com. 9 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Badanin, Roman; Osipov, Ivan (25 April 2012). ""Я понимал, что сотрудничество с Навальным может быть угрозой для моей работы"" [I understood that cooperation with Navalny could be a threat to my work]. Forbes. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Портал государственных услуг" [Government services portal]. unro.minjust.ru. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  9. ^ Gubenko, Artyom (3 August 2019). "СК возбудил дело об отмывании ФБК Навального 1 млрд руб" [The Investigative Committee opened a case on the laundering of FBK Navalny 1 billion rubles]. RBK Group. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Силовики в ФБК, в офисе "Навальный Live" и в московском штабе политика" [Security officials at FBK, at the Navalny Live office and at the politician's Moscow headquarters]. MediaZona (in Russian). 9 September 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Суд разрешил провести еще 47 обысков по делу ФБК" [The court allowed 47 more searches in the FBK case]. Kommersant (in Russian). 17 September 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  12. ^ Bennetts, Marc (12 September 2019). "Russian police carry out mass raids against opposition activists". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Суд вернул компании по аренде автомобилей иск к ФБК на 1 млрд рублей" [The court returned the car rental company a claim against FBK for 1 billion rubles]. Vedomosti (in Russian). 16 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Полиция Москвы решила отсудить у оппозиции 18 млн рублей" [Moscow police decided to sue the opposition for 18 million rubles]. Interfax (in Russian). 8 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  15. ^ Dergachev, Vladimir (9 October 2019). "Минюст объявил фонд Алексея Навального иностранным агентом". RBK (in Russian).
  16. ^ ""Это всё была провокация": интервью "американского спонсора" Навального". Openmedia.io (in Russian). 12 October 2019.
  17. ^ Kovalev, Alexey (18 October 2019). ""Медуза" нашла испанца, из-за которого ФБК признали "иностранным агентом". Он не может объяснить, зачем помогал российским борцам с коррупцией". Meduza (in Russian).
  18. ^ Davydov, Viktor; Belyaeva, Nadezhda (8 August 2019). "В ФБК провели обыски и арестовали счета по делу об отмывании денег. Сумма "легализованных средств" снизилась с миллиарда до 75 миллионов рублей". Meduza (in Russian).
  19. ^ "Минюст отказался исключить ФБК из реестра "иностранных агентов"". Meduza (in Russian). 25 December 2020.
  20. ^ "СКР сообщил об обысках по делу ФБК в 30 городах" [Investigative Committee of Russia reported about searches in the FBK case in 30 cities]. Interfax (in Russian). 15 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  21. ^ Walker, Shaun (15 October 2019). "Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny condemns mass raids". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Московская школа выиграла иск на 1,5 млн рублей из-за поставок некачественной еды" [The Moscow school won a lawsuit for 1.5 million rubles for the supply of low-quality food]. Interfax (in Russian). 4 April 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  23. ^ Duryagina, Kira (29 October 2019). "Иск подают холодным" [The claim is served cold]. Kommersant. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  24. ^ Rozhkova, Elena; Glukhova, Natalia (21 July 2020). "Алексей Навальный изменился в юрлице" [Alexey Navalny has changed in the legal entity]. Kommersant. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  25. ^ Kalyukov, Evgeny (28 October 2019). "Навальный сообщил о взыскании ₽88 млн в пользу "Московского школьника"" [Navalny announced the recovery of ₽88 million in favour of the "Moscow Schoolboy"]. RBK Group (in Russian). Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Навальный объявил о закрытии ФБК. Вместо фонда создадут новую организацию" [Navalny announced the closure of FBK. A new organization will be created instead of the foundation]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). 20 July 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  27. ^ Levchenko, Grigoriy (16 April 2021). "Прокуратура потребовала признать ФБК экстремистской организацией". Meduza (in Russian).
  28. ^ Clark, Anastasia (16 April 2021). "Russian Prosecutors Seek to Label Navalny Groups as 'Extremist'". The Moscow Times.
  29. ^ "Russia Orders Navalny Group to Suspend Activities". The Moscow Times. 26 April 2021.
  30. ^ "Суд ограничил деятельность фондов Навального по иску об экстремизме". BBC (in Russian). 27 April 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Решение Московского городского суда от 09.06.2021 года по делу №3а-1573/2021" (PDF). Team29.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2021.
  32. ^ "Мосгорсуд признал ФБК и штабы Навального экстремистскими организациями". MediaZona (in Russian). 9 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  33. ^ Safonova, Kristina (11 June 2021). ""ФБК — это самая важная организация в России. Прокуроры нас убеждали в том же самом" Интервью адвоката Ильи Новикова — об итогах суда над структурами Навального". Meduza (in Russian).
  34. ^ "Суд признал ФБК и Штабы Навального экстремистскими и запретил их". Radio Liberty (in Russian). 9 June 2021.
  35. ^ Dyuryagina, Kira (4 August 2021). "ФБК не прошёл апелляцию". Kommersant (in Russian).
  36. ^ "Навальный нашел у Володина незадекларированную недвижимость" [Navalny found Volodin's undeclared property]. Forbes (in Russian). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Навальный нашел конфликт интересов в бизнесе сына Якунина" [Navalny found a conflict of interest in the business of Yakunin's son]. Lenta.ru (in Russian). 17 September 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  38. ^ "Пехтин ушел из Думы из-за скандала с недвижимостью в США" [Pekhtin left Duma due to real estate in the USA scandal]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). 20 February 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  39. ^ "Навальный обвинил Собянина в нарушении закона о выборах" [Navalny accused Sobyanin of violating electoral law]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). 19 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  40. ^ "Фонд Навального заявил о наличии трех офшоров у сенатора Фетисова" [Navalny's Foundation says Senator Fetisov has three offshore companies]. Forbes (in Russian). 17 March 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  41. ^ "Lawmaker Owns Undeclared Luxury Property in Dubai, Navalny Says". The Moscow Times. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  42. ^ "Расходы Голиковой и Христенко на элитную недвижимость почти на 60 миллионов превзошли их доходы, подсчитали у Навального" [The expenses of Golikova and Khristenko on elite real estate exceeded their incomes by almost 60 million, according to Navalny]. NEWSru (in Russian). 16 October 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  43. ^ Eremenko, Alexey (8 July 2014). "Photos of 'Rotenberg Palaces' Hit the Web". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  44. ^ Eremenko, Alexey (30 October 2014). "Russia's Pension Tsar Implicated in $8 Million Fraud". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  45. ^ Walker, Shaun (13 December 2015). "The luxury hotel, the family of the top Moscow prosecutor and Russia's most notorious gang". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  46. ^ Schreck, Carl (27 October 2015). "Russia's Shoigu Accused Of Owning Mansion". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  47. ^ Eckel, Mike (17 September 2015). "Kremlin Spokesman Linked To $7.1 Million House In Latest Navalny Exposé". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  48. ^ "Тимакова прокомментировала расследование Навального о "даче Медведева"" [Timakova commented on Navalny's investigation of "Medvedev's dacha"]. Forbes (in Russian). 15 September 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  49. ^ Zotova, Natalia (11 September 2020). "Без Навального: как ФБК работает без своего лидера" [Without Navalny: how FBK works without its leader]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  50. ^ Navalny, Alexei (10 June 2014). "FBK: report 2013. Stay tuned for further". navalny.com. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  51. ^ Navalny, Alexei (16 June 2015). "Годовой отчёт Фонда борьбы с коррупцией" [Anti-Corruption Foundation Annual Report]. navalny.com.
  52. ^ "Фандрайзинг" [Fundraising] (PDF). Anti-Corruption Foundation. 2017.
  53. ^ a b c d e f g h Zheleznova, Maria; Rozhkov, Alexey; Khimshiashvili, Polina (30 May 2012). "Кто спонсирует фонд борьбы с коррупцией Навального" [Who sponsors Navalny's anti-corruption fund]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  54. ^ Zheleznova, Maria; Rozhkov, Alexey; Nikolsky, Alexey; Plotonova, Olga (15 May 2012). "У фонда Навального может появиться новый источник средств" [Navalny's fund may get a new source of funds]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  55. ^ Navalny, Alexei (30 May 2012). "16 смелых" [16 brave]. navalny.livejournal.com (in Russian). Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  56. ^ a b "О фонде" [About the fund]. Anti-Corruption Foundation (in Russian). 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  57. ^ Navalny, Alexei (26 February 2019). "По требованию Усманова и Медведева против бывшего директора ФБК возбуждено уголовное дело" [At the request of Usmanov and Medvedev, a criminal case was initiated against the former director of FBK]. navalny.com. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  58. ^ Kreknina, Alexandra; Yarosh, Yulia (13 April 2012). "X5 рассталась с менеджером из-за его политических взглядов" [X5 parted ways with manager due to his political views]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  59. ^ "Левиафан" [Leviathan]. Anti-Corruption Foundation.

External links[edit]