OCCRP announces 2013 Organized Crime and Corruption “Person of the Year”

OCCRP award acknowledges those who promote Uncivil Society

Extortion and smuggling. Counterfeiting, fraud, and money laundering. Hacking and bribery. Organized crime groups and corrupt persons have been wildly successful in 2013. They have trafficked and enslaved millions of people around the globe, hustled hundreds of billions of dollars through drug sales, corrupted countless persons and further cemented partnerships at the nexus of crime and politics.

OCCRP 2013 End of Year Letter

Dear friend of OCCRP,

The year 2013 is drawing to a close and if we had known last January what we know today, we would have been both delighted and deeply afraid. It's been an amazing year of successes, tribulations, lawsuits, awards, threats and constant great reporting. But thank God it's over, making this is a good time to recap.

OCCRP Deplores Violence Against OCCRP Reporter

OCCRP deplores the use of violence by supporters of the government of Ukraine against Hromadske.TV and OCCRP reporter Dmytro Gnap.  Gnap was beaten up by what Hromadske.TV said were paid provocateurs near Mariinsky Park in Central Kyiv.  Gnap and fellow journalist Yakiv Lyubchych were attacked and Gnap’s camera was broken and his memory card taken.

OCCRP Investigative Reporter Receives Knight International Journalism Award

Roman Anin, an Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Novaya Gazeta reporter, received the Knight International Journalism Award last night at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The Knight International Journalism Award is presented by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and recognizes “media professionals who demonstrate a passionate commitment to excellent reporting that makes a difference in the lives of people around the world.”


OCCRP's New and Improved Investigative Dashboard Is Here

Business_registryFrom corrupt business takeovers to horsemeat scandals, investigative reporters worldwide are using the Investigative Dashboard with award-winning results. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) rolled out the new and improved Investigative Dashboard at the Google Ideas Summit in New York, showcasing the platform's abilities and ambitions in ways that will "take public records to a whole new level," says Google.

OCCRP Supports Transparency in Montenegro

In July 2012, MANS (Network for Affirmation of  NGO Sector) asked for records from Montenegro’s business registry on behalf of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).  It took more than one year to get a response, and when it came, it simply said that the files were no longer available in the registry.

OCCRP and ICFJ Extend Partnership

usaidBucharest/Sarajevo – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has extended a core grant that supports the Journalism Development Network, a leading innovator in journalism and journalism development in new democracies.  USAID’s three year extension provides support for a regional network of independent centers and promotes cross border investigative reporting.  The International Center for Journalism (ICFJ) and JDN are partners on the grant that supports the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an award winning consortium of 18 investigative centers and news organizations.  OCCRP, working with its partner organizations publishes in-depth investigative stories on organized crime and corruption issues.  It has won numerous international awards for its work and this year is a finalist for the Daniel Pearl Award, a double finalist for the Global Shining Light award, and winners with the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) of the SEEMO investigative reporting award.

Columbia honors OCCRP partner in Georgia

Studio Monitori and OCCRP partner Nanka Naskidashvili has been awarded the Josh Friedman Prize for the best investigative journalism story in the Republic of Georgia.

Press Release: OCCRP Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit

Press Release

February 28, 2013

On Wednesday, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by Maxim Stepanov, a Russian national who is the owner of Midland Consult, a Cyprus based company registration firm that was mentioned in the Proxy Platform series.

OCCRP stands by its story and will aggressively defend itself in the litigation.

Based primarily on public records, OCCRP reported that Midland Consult registered a number of businesses that allegedly have since been used by organized crime, and that it, in some circumstances,   appointed proxy directors of those companies.  These companies allegedly have been used for criminal activities including hiding the proceeds of the Magnitsky tax scandal that led to the death of Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.   Midland Consult, whose representative was quoted in OCCRP’s reports, argues that it is not responsible for the activities of the companies it registers.

OCCRP believes that there is absolutely no basis to this lawsuit and considers this harassment for having told an unpleasant truth. Knowingly or unknowingly, Midland Consult’s business activities helped alleged criminals hide their activities.   It is common business practice for a director of a company to take responsibility for the actions of their company. Why should that not apply to proxy directors?

Company registration agents, lawyers, bankers, hedge fund operators and other businesses have long been part of the criminal services industry, the “legitimate” businesses that have empowered organized crime by providing services that help them launder money, evade taxes and hide ownership in offshore companies.

OCCRP is asking important questions.  Banks now are required to know their customers to prevent money laundering.  Why shouldn’t registration agents?   Shouldn’t they know whether the companies they set up are being used to perpetrate massive fraud?  Shouldn’t they be required to identify the real owners if such fraud exists?