… And we in Pakistan thought we had it aced but apparently, our old ‘masters’ the Brits, have trumped us at being the most corrupt country in the world, if criminal investigation expert Roberto Saviano is to be believed.

Italian journalist Saviano is a recipient of the PEN/Pinter Courage Award, and author of international bestsellers ‘Gomorrah’ and ‘Zero Zero Zero’. He spent more than a decade uncovering the shady deals of the Italian mafia, and since 2006, has been living under police protection because of his disclosures.

Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, Saviano told the audience that if he asked them to name the most corrupt country in the world, their answers would probably be Afghanistan, Nigeria, or even Greece, but actually, he could tell them for a fact that the UK far surpassed these in financial malpractices.

Saviano explained that the corruption, which had an effect worldwide, lay in the UK’s complicity in allowing offshore tax havens to flourish in its territories like Cayman and Jersey islands, where the world’s ill-gotten gains found a home.

According to Saviano, 90 percent of the owners of properties in London have offshore headquarters. The British government, he said, needs to bring in more stringent laws to control financial misdoings instead of being so lenient about it.

In Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2015, the UK was ranked at 10th position, but after the Panama Leaks scandal, and now Saviano’s assertion, it may get an upgrade.