Corruption is a nuisance at every level but it is most damaging when it involves public institutions. On the largest scale, government machinery and big businesses help each other through corrupt practices, and as a consequence ruin society and the environment. Corporate corruption refers to the practice of making ‘investments’ in the government to seek large scale favours to gain relative advantages over others either within the same industry, or by barring others to enter through regulatory embargos or creating hurdles through public institutions. The role of Competition Commissions or Agencies and Anti-Corruption Authorities becomes vital in bringing greater transparency in corporate businesses and inflicting punishments where misuse of authority offences gets established against the public office holder. The beneficiary being the private enterprises are asked to bring their businesses on par with international good practices by the regulators and damage recovery. This is done through inflicting reasonable penalties and fines. Harnessing only the regulators is not enough, those with motivated interest who make official policy for the regulators to follow must also be taken into account. The biggest indictment in the history of corporate corruption was when Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction giant, was charged with massive corruption and bribery in several countries. He was caught during an ongoing investigation called “Operation Car Wash”. The investigation was focused on a massive web of corruption and money laundering that involved several top politicians and industry giants like the state-owned oil company, Petrobras. Odebrecht had set up a separate division called the “Division of Structured Operations” to pay off over 400 politicians and 26 political parties in addition to several bureaucrats , bankers and lawyers to secure lucrative contracts. It is estimated that one-third of Brazilian senators and half of the governors received bribes from Odebrecht! During testimony, Mr. Marcelo Odebrecht, the company’s billionaire CEO, revealed that the company had paid around $600 million in bribes. On June 19 2015, Brazilian authorities arrested Mr. Odebrecht, in connection with their ongoing probe into bribes paid to Petrobras. As part of an engineering cartel, Odebrecht was able to secure contracts at inflated prices from Petrobras by paying kickbacks. It is estimated that Petrobras lost $14 billion due to overpayments. Mr. Odebrecht was sentenced to 19 years in prison which was eventually reduced to 7 years house arrest due to a plea bargain. In addition, his company agreed to pay a fine of $2.6 billion . Executives of Petrobras had used the kickbacks they received to pay off politicians that had appointed them. The politicians, in turn, used the money for campaign financing and to pay coalition partners to keep the government in power. The world witnessed the second biggest indictment in history when Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the former president of Uzbekistan was indicted for receiving close to a $1 billion in bribes involving telecom sector. In a related case, Russian telecom operator VimpelCom admitted wrongdoing such as favours to gain entry and then to get 3G and 4G licenses. VimpelCom was indicted in the US and Netherlands where it is headquartered. It had agreed to pay $835 million as a fine . Rebranding itself as Veon in 2017, VimpelCom also owns Jazz in Pakistan. Telenor being a 33 percent shareholder in VimpelCom at the time also came under fire from Norway government. As a consequence two of its key executives, Chairman and CFO, had to resign. As a parallel case study, this attracts prevention regime of NAB and Competition Commission of Pakistan to have an intrusive look into the practices companies are following in Pakistan. The PTA being the regulator has to see that corporate sector stakeholders falling within its jurisdiction do get equal and fair chances in promoting entrepreneurship and ventures in the field of the telecom industry. However, PTA also finds itself hamstrung due to the policymakers in the government. The Telecom Companies being small in number are likely to get involved in ring and cartel forming denying access to related businesses pertaining to connectivity and access. Even NAB seldom shows any interest in the massive corruption within the telecoms sector Overall three foreign telecom operators (MTS, TeliaSonera, VimpelCom) have been charged with fines to the sum of $2.6 billion in the whole scheme. (MTS: $850m; Telia Sonera: $965m; VimpelCom: $795m. In a related case even the banking sector came under fire. Dutch bank ING Groep NV was fined approx. Indian Rs $900m when it admitted that it was involved in money laundering. They cited four examples where ING accounts were used for crime, most notably by VimpelCom . Pakistan’s economy already in recession, suffers an average of $10 billion in illegal leakage through money laundering. The most effective tool applied across globe against money laundering is the generation of fake profits by the corporate sector and sending out of money through legal means. The multinational foreign companies seeing the conductive environment of a particular country having weaker regulatory mechanism often get into malpractices of this kind and nature. India realising the severity of cost of $50 billion in money laundering has taken stringent measures including cancellation of bigger currency instruments.. In some cases even the investigations are dubious, such as in India a huge scam was unearthed a decade ago which related to auction of spectrum to telecom operators, for fixation of cut-off date and manipulation of first-come-first-served policy. It was believed that it caused a loss of approx. 30 billion to the exchequer. Although the investigation resulted in no indictment, the judgment mentioned “I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well-choreographed charge-sheet,” unquote. Corporate corruption is infecting a coherent system closely linked to the expansion of modern capitalism and based on an association of three partners: governments, transnational corporations and mafias. The power and dominance of large corporations are undisputed now and they dominate the world through their transnational presence. 0These large corporations through such corrupt practices abuse the environment and in most cases exploit the developing countries where it is relatively easier to create and control. There are several examples of such practices in Pakistan, where it is obvious that large corporations prevent competing businesses from flourishing that could have definitely benefitted the society but at the cost profits of large corporations. Because of the “investment they bring” governments are lenient on corporations with an international chequered histories like Jazz and Telenor. In effect, we are saying foreign corrupt practices will be condoned in Pakistan. Just consider why the greatest corruption in history has never made it to the print and electronic media, the lucrative advertisements will stop immediately. What a platform to conduct hybrid warfare against any country? With the fear and threat of losing the advertisement business from such big entities I personally must commend and appreciate the courage this newspaper has shown in publishing my article. Who else in our “free” media will take up this challenge? Even NAB seldom shows any interest in the massive corruption in the telecom sector. To paraphrase “Hear No evil and now with 3G/4G see no evil”, God may save us from the menace of corporate corruption in Pakistan seldom reported and very rare to receive any meaningful punishment. The writer is Brig (Retd) and Former DG NAB Published in Daily Times, March 22nd 2019.