(or sometimes Cleptocracy
) (root: Klepto+cracy)
is a form of government
. It means literally "rule by thieves". It is the end-point of political corruption
, where no pretence of honesty remains, and the government of a country exists solely to enrich its rulers and to perpetuate their rule. Most kleptocracies are dictatorships or some other autocratic
form of government because other forms of government make theft more difficult to accomplish and conceal. Kleptocrats often use money laundering
and anonymous banking
as a way of protecting and concealing their ill-gotten gains.