The Daily Mail this morning published a story stating that “millions of foreign aid is ending up in the hands of organised crime gangs who smuggle drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants into Britain.” It states that Ministers admitted yesterday that “huge sums of development money [had been] siphoned off by corrupt regimes”.
The story comes after the Home Office published its Serious and Organised Crime Strategy on November 1st. Following a speech by the Security Minister Ben Wallace a question was asked by the Daily Mail on whether overseas development aid was being siphoned off by regimes to fund Serious and Organised Crime.
Mr Wallace said the Department of International Development had “leaned in” in recent years on tackling corruption. The Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens also said that DFID “takes this (corruption) very seriously”.
All of DFID’s programmes are designed with a range of safeguards to mitigate the risk of fraud. We use monitoring visits, as well as financial spot checks and forensic independent audits to ensure all funding is used for the purpose it was intended.
UK aid is also helping to combat crimes such as human trafficking, corruption and drug smuggling before they reach UK shores. Working with developing countries to tackle crime at source reduces the burden on UK law enforcement agencies and strengthens our national security – which is a win for the UK and a win for the developing world.
In addition, DFID’s Counter Fraud Section works in partnership with a number of UK and international law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office in the UK, and the Office of the Inspector General in the US.