Corruption doesn’t only run in African governments, although they have a fair representation on this list. Below is the list of the top ten most corrupt leaders in recent times.
10. Joseph Estrada
Presidency: 1998 to 2001
Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada (born 1937) was the 13th President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001. He is the only Philippi president to have resigned from office.
Before joining politics, he was a popular and film actor who played a lead role in 100 films and won awards for his performances.
He looted around US$ 78 million to 80 million in forged funds. But in 2007, he was granted an unconditional pardon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He ran for elections in 2010 but lost to the current Philippi Benigno Aquino III.
9. Arnoldo Aleman
Presidency: 1997 to 2002
José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo (born 1946) was the 81st President of Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002.
He has been sentenced for 20 years by Nicaragua’s Supreme Court for crimes of money laundering and forging funds worth around US$100 million.
8. Pavlo Lazarenko
Period: 1996 to 1997
Pavlo Ivanovych Lazarenko (born 1953) was a seventh Prime Minister of Ukraine from 1996 to 1997. In August 2006, he was imprisoned in the United States for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion. He looted around US$200 million from the Ukrainian government during his term in office.
7. Alberto Fujimori
Presidency: 1990 to 2000
Alberto Ken’ya Fujimori (born 1938) was the 90th President of Peru from 1990 to 2000. Even though he gave a stable macroeconomic system and finished terrorism from the country, yet he was authoritarian and abused human rights for which he was imprisoned.
He is a Peruvian of Japanese descent and fled to Japan in 2000 because of the corruption scandal. He made an attempt to resign, but the Peruvian government wanted to impeach him for his crimes.
He self-exiled but was caught in Chile and then extradited to Peru to face criminal charges. He forged US$ 600 million in funds approximately and is serving his sentence now.
6. Jean-Claude Duvalier
Presidency: 1971 to 1986
Jean-Claude Duvalier (born 1951) was the thirty-third President of Haiti from 1971 to 1986. He maintained excellent relations with the United States because of his anti-communist stand. During his regime, he gave a lot of power to his advisors and led a lavish life.
He had a state-sponsored wedding of US$3 million, while the Haitians were being killed and tortured, and many had to flee from the country. He made millions from drug trade and trafficking of human body parts from dead Haitians while poverty was stricken in the country.
He forged funds worth between US$300 million to US$800 million. He is still under trial for his crimes in Port-au-Prince.
5. Slobodan Milosevic
Country: Serbia and Yugoslavia
Presidency: 1989 to 1997
Slobodan Milosevic (1941-2006) was the third President of Serbia and Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1997 having three terms in office and as the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000.
He was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities in March 2001 on charges of crimes against humanity and forging of US$21 billion from Yugoslavia.
4. Sani Abacha
Presidency: 1993 to 1998
General Sani Abacha (1943-1998) was the tenth President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. He was a kleptocrat who committed extensive human rights abuses. According to Swiss authorities, his family is a criminal organization, who had forged an estimated funds of US$ 3 billion to 4 billion.
3. Mobutu Sese Seko
Country: DR Congo
Presidency: 1965 to 1997.
Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (1930-1997), whose name means “the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake” was the second President of the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1965 to 1997.
During much of his time, Congo was known as Zaire. While in government, he had an authoritarian regime and made a lot of monetary corruption. He took away all the colonial cultural influence and was against communism.
After his overthrow in 1997, he temporary exiled in a small country of Togo, but lived in Morocco most of the time. He forged over US$5 billion, making him the most corrupt leader from Africa during his time.
2. Ferdinand Marcos
Presidency: 1965 to 1986.
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (1917-1989) was the tenth President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was an authoritarian and had great achievements in the infrastructure development, land reforms, political and social reforms as well as in international diplomacy.
However, he was guilty of authoritarian corruption, despotism, nepotism, political repression, and human right violations, benefiting from a large personality cult in the Philippines during his reign.
He along with his wife took around US$5 billion to 10 billion from public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other states as well as spent illegally into other corporations.
1. Mohamed Suharto
Presidency: 1967 to 1998
Mohamed Suharto (1921-2008) was the second President of Indonesia from 1967 to 1998, resigning that year after huge protests by Indonesians. He held office for about 31 years and was sometimes popularly referred to in the media as Pak Harto. He along with his family and friends kept power through control of government enterprises and charities.
According to the Transparency International, he is the number one most corrupt leader who forged funds of around US$15 billion to 35 billion.