As part of a social campaign by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) and supported by European Economic Area grants (EEA grants), a special object – the corruption iceberg – has been placed on the Daugava, at the 11th November Embankment near Akmens Bridge in Riga. It symbolizes a small visible part of the iceberg of corruption, concealing below it a wide range of negative effects on both the actors involved in corruption and society as a whole.
Director of KNAB, Jēkabs Straume: "Corruption is a criminal offense, but it does not end when bribery or other corruptive actions have taken place and the involved persons have been brought to justice. That is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. The invisible part of the corruption iceberg reaches much deeper and affects not only those involved in corruption, but indirectly also all of us as a society. The iceberg of corruption reaches deep, and every case of bribery or other manifestations of corruption, when gone unnoticed, un-investigated, the people involved do not receive adequate punishment, increases this invisible part of the iceberg. At the same time, it deprives each of us as a resident of Latvia of the opportunity to live a better life.”
KNAB points out that public tolerance is one of the major reasons for the existence of corruption, which can manifest as both direct support for corruptive activities and as indifference, for example, not reporting when a person has obtained information about possible corruption. A public opinion poll conducted by KNAB this spring shows that 34% of the people polled would report encountered corruption to KNAB. Meanwhile, 30% would not report it, but only tell their relatives and acquaintances, which prevents law enforcement agencies from effectively combating corruption.
The corruption iceberg will remain on the Daugava until 4 November. KNAB invites everyone to see the corruption iceberg, without crowding at the object and complying with the established epidemiological security measures. KNAB reminds that the aim of the social campaign is to promote public awareness of the negative consequences of corruption and to reduce public tolerance to corruption.
Support for implementation of the campaign was received from the EEA Grants 2014-2021 programme “International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime”. The campaign was implemented within the framework of the “Support for the establishment of a whistle-blowing system in Latvia” project, where KNAB receives grants from EEA Grants. The aim of the project is to promote public involvement in reporting corruption and other latent crimes, while providing the public with a safe and convenient reporting channel, as well as improving KNAB's competence in detecting corruptive offences.