Revelations of tax-evasion and money-laundering networks on a global scale in the Panama Papers helped make the world appear more corrupt last year, according to watchdog Transparency International.
There were more falling scores than rising ones on its 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, published on Wednesday. A lower score means a country is seen as more corrupt.
Declines were driven by “massive and pervasive” public-sector corruption, the watchdog said in an e-mailed statement. The Panama Papers data-leak also prompted a wave of anger at wealthy individuals and companies using well-established methods of evasion. “It is still far too easy for the rich and powerful to exploit the opaqueness of the global financial system to enrich themselves at the expense of the public good,” Transparency International said.
The organisation’s president, Jose Ugaz, also pointed to countries with increasingly autocratic governments as places where the perception of corruption has been on the rise.