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Central Asia Scores Poorly On Corruption Index

20 October 2004 -- An international survey by a prominent corruption watchdog says Central Asian countries continue to rank among the world's worst offenders.

Countries in the region scored poorly on Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranked 146 countries.

Miklos is the group's regional director for Europe and Central Asia.

"I'm afraid to say there is no good news to report on Central Asia, the scores are very low as in the past --- and they are in very much the bottom part of the ranking. What is even worse is [that] the trend is also downward," Marschall said.

The survey, released today, says that corruption is rampant in 60 countries around the world, and that the problem is particularly widespread in oil-rich countries.

It says bribery in the public sector costs an annual $400 billion worldwide.