10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History

  • Sharebar

The following is the list of the 10 most corrupt leaders in recent history:

10. Joseph Estrada

Joseph Estrada 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada (born 1937) was the 13th President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001. He is the only Filipino 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 Filipino Benigno Aquino III.

9. Arnoldo Aleman

Arnoldo Aleman 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Pavlo Lazarenko 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Alberto Fujimori 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Jean Claude Duvalier 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Slobodan Milosevic 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Sani Abacha 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Mobutu Sese Seko 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Ferdinand Marcos 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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

Mohamed Suharto 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History
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.


I am a freelance writer who loves to read and share with the world the exciting things I find on the way.

Share This Post

Related Articles

29 Responses to “10 Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History”

  1. PNoy says:

    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Philippines must be 1st in this list.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 129 Thumb down 40

    • sanji says:

      yes..and the rank will be number one…this findings is stupid..What is your basis?you’re misleading people..damn you

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

      • sanji says:

        Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the mpost corrupt,not only in money…but she made Filipino suffer,her influences,designated officials.DOn’t mislead people you damn scummers

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 9

    • Indio says:

      This Top 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in recent history is stupid,. kindly research more,…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    • Bobby de Asis says:

      The case of plunder against Macapagal-Arroyo(GMA) has not yet been finalized and still under deliberation by proper courts.Perhaps the reason why not in list above.But my addendum to J.E.Estrada profile above:He is incumbembent Mayor, Manila City. He defeated Alfredo Lim in last election. This is another “Only in the Philippines”,LOL !An outed President, convicted Plunderer(later pardoned) to comeback into politics and win again !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. jason says:

    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo andd her husband

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 76 Thumb down 25

  3. WANGOOLO PETERSBURG says:

    Museveni of Uganda should top the list

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. philippi? says:

    wtf is a philippi? lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  5. Intergalactic says:

    Ohhh Cummon! Asif Ali Zardari deserves the top slot… I mean none of these blokes slaughtered his wife and bro-in-law to attain Presidency. And stripped the nation off any remaining dignity by guzzling down US Dollars in the name of Crisis aid (Flood/earthquake relief funds) ohhh… And not to forget the notes he has been chomping away at in the name of ‘the war against terror’ all whilst terrorising the Pakistanis with prices and rates that are sky-rocketing. I am a proud Pakistani never the less and still have hope that a saviour will come and save our country and believe that the majority of my fellow country men and women have come to their senses and will not allow such atrocities to continue. But a criminal and his crime against his country at such a massive scale does indeed need to be acknowledged.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. Abraham from Chad says:

    I was surprised at not seeing Presidernt Idriss Deby among the list of the 10 Most Corrupt Leaders despite he is far more corrupt that some of the leaders listed here. The last he has done and the Chadians are actually talking about is ( Deby married the daughter of the leader of the Janjaweed and paid $ 25,000,000 as dawry). This is corruption! I wonder why he is not listed? In Chad we have a very ugly way of life where you will see some of citizens beg and some woment said to be widows of government soldier fighters make thier living by grinding stones and selling it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Javed Iqbal says:

    I strongly protest for keeping the current Pakistani President out of the list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. A Pakistani says:

    I can’t believe Pakistan is not on the top spot. I mean we produced, Z Bhutto, B Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, ZiaUlHaq, Gen Musharif, Zardari, and that snake Zardari&BBhutto co-produced.
    I demand an explaination, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY?????????
    LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. litodelara says:

    I’m would say this has no factual basis. if this list is credible it should include gloria macapagal arroyo on top of the list, and also fidel ramos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  10. Jason says:

    Congrats to the 10th placer, Joseph Estrada, for being elected as Mayor of City of Manila, Philippines. It is definitely a great opportunity to improve his rank in the list. Looking forward in transforming the City Hall to a Penthouse, the same way he converted the presidential yacht to a private strip club.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  11. jekf says:

    lahat ng nakasulat dito na corrupt nakulong and duly served the sentence that they most certainly deserve…….. except of course for the 2 filipinos! galing talaga. kaya sabi nga ng politicans….. it’s more fun in the philipines! FTS!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    • famverzosa says:

      @jekf: Suharto who’s no. 1 in the list was never prosecuted like Marcos. Estrada was prosecuted, sentenced, and then pardoned. :(

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  12. durant says:

    Only in the Philippines, up until now eh yang mga magnanakaw na yan at pamilya nyan eh nakaupo sa pamumuno! dapat kahit kelan man di na ina-allow kumandidato mga yan o kahit sino pa man sa lahi nyan dahil nabahiran na nila ang public trust! dapat din kasi mga taxpayers lang pwede bumoto at di yung mga squatters na pagkarami rami na binebenta lang naman din yung mga boto nila. dinadagit nila sa kahirapan nila ang buong bansa sa pagpapanatili ng mga buwayang ito sa posisyon sa gobyerno, kawawang bansa!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • dukling says:

      Lets say na corrupt sila pero tingnan mo naman ang ating bansa ngayon we are being bullied and bluffed by other countries… Nung panahon ni marcos takot sila ma gawin yang pambubully…. Economy before was far better than now…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. queenie says:

    I cant believe top ten c Erap! E musta naman c Gloria??? If mabubulgar lang lahat ng kinurakot.nila malamang top1 yan!!!
    Biaaaaaatch!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • sancho alconce says:

      Gloria Arroyo is still on trial and the Noynoy controlled judiciary has not presented nor proved a thing that can pin her down. All this government does is shamelessly prosecute and convict the poor old lady thru malacanang controlled major broadsheets and tv networks. Inspite of all those character assasinations, nothing has really come out against the former president. Gloria and the impeached chief justice Corona were the most hated by this present government because both were instrumental in giving back to where it really belongs the hacienda luisita of the cojuanco’s in which President aquino is a member.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  14. Henry says:

    Where in the list is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?
    An international newspaper already named her as the MOST corrupt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  15. nazi says:

    adolf hitler?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. dungan says:

    During the time of Pres. Marcos Philippines was amongst the richest country in asia next to Japan… He is the only president in the Philippines who was able to lift the Philippines to the highest label… He was the only President who doesnt have ” kodigo” when delivering a speech… Bangon Pilipinas! Wag padadala sa mga aquino at cojuanco… Pres. Marcos is still the best president kahit anong sabihin nyo!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  17. Tomal says:

    And all leaders from Bangladesh …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Tazabi says:

    Please add the late PM of Ethiopia, Melese Lebaw!
    Thank you

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Joe F says:

    Where is President Obama?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Merk1444 says:

    Based on the comments it does not look like we have a lack of people who are contenders to be on this list. Corruption is ubiquitous in the world, but it is unusual that a small country like the Philippines would have two on the list, and I am surprised Arroyo was not included, as she was probably the most corrup president of the Philippines ever!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0