Wealthy politicians and toll scams

Dear Editor,

I was reading recently an article about the ways that the elite “politicians” in despotic African dictatorships are able to siphon away whatever wealth their countries might possess. As an example, one such regime had received foreign aid to build a motorway structure which was meant to be toll-free, so no problem thus far.

• The government then helps in the formation of a company whose duties include the repair and maintenance of motorways by means of charging tolls.

• Members of said government invest their already dubious savings in this company by way of shares.

• The company signs an agreement with the government whereby it is guaranteed to make a profit, irrespective of costs or lack of revenue.

• The government allows the company to charge tolls on the motorways which had been designated toll-free, and makes up the shortfall, paid for by its citizens, so that the company returns a hefty profit.

• Members of the government are assured of receiving a healthy return on their investment for the rest of their lives.

I realised how lucky I am that I live in a western European democracy where such a scam could never happen, COULD IT?

George Hutchinson,