occrp

  • Albania: Drug Destructions Could Mark the Fall of ‘Cannabis Kingdom’

    Nearly all the cannabis plants being grown in Albania have now been destroyed, officials said Wednesday.

  • EU Approves Use of Force Against Trafficking Boats in International Waters

    The European Union (EU) member states approved a plan on Monday to allow military action against human traffickers in the Mediterranean, according to the Agence France Presse (AFP).

  • Uzbekistan: More Karimova Associates Arrested in Corruption Probe

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has reported that Uzbek authorities have arrested nine more suspects in their investigation into corruption surrounding Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova.

  • Uzbekistan: US Seeks to Seize $1 Billion of Assets in Karimova Corruption Probe

    The US is reportedly seeking to seize US$ 1 billion in European assets as part of investigation into alleged corruption between three major telecoms companies and Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan. 

  • OCCRP Reporters and Partners Honored With EU Investigative Journalism Prize

    DSC 5996Saska Cvetkovska, center left, with the ambassador to the EU delegation in Macedonia, Aivo Orav, center rightOCCRP journalists Saska Cvetkovska and Pavla Holcova have been awarded the European Union investigative journalism prize for 2014’s best investigative story from Macedonia.

  • OCCRP Reporter, Two Partners Win Georgia Prizes

    OCCRP reporter Nino Bakradze was among six Republic of Georgia journalists who were honored in the fourth annual Josh Friedman Excellence in Investigative Journalism contest Tuesday.

  • OCCRP, global reporters release first “Khadija Project” stories

    Ilham-AliyevWhen Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova was jailed in Baku last December on trumped-up charges, her colleagues believed the real reason for her incarceration was her reporting on rapacious business deals involving the family and friends of President Ilham Aliyev.

  • Deploying data mining in cross-border investigative journalism

    dataminingOver the past few years we have seen the huge potential of data and document mining in investigative journalism. Tech savvy networks of journalists such as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have teamed together for astounding cross-border investigations, such as OCCRP’s work on money laundering or ICIJ’s offshore leak projects. OCCRP has even incubated its own tools, such as VIS, Investigative Dashboard and Overview.

  • OCCRP Wins Special Award at the European Press Prize

    europp

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has been honored by the European Press Prize (EPP) as a “force for good” in independent journalism, with the panel of judges giving the organization a special prize for achievement.

  • OCCRP Double Finalist for European Press Prize

    eu press prize 2014 The European Press Prize's annual European Awards for Journalism shortlist includes two OCCRP investigations.

  • OCCRP Launches New Website. Welcome!

    OCCRP has launched its new website. Operating in HTML5, the site is primed to look just as beautiful and operate just as smoothly on mobile devices as it does on larger screens.

  • History of OCCRP

    InvestigathonPaul Radu

    "OCCRP wasn't really planned – it was born of necessity. We were all working on the same intractable problems in our own countries. But a couple of us realized this, and communicated. Then more. Then even more. We found each other." Drew Sullivan
    "We realized that this was the time to experiment, to take investigative journalism to a a cross-border level where the latest technologies would help reporters match both the creativity and almost unlimited resources of organized crime and corrupt leaders." Paul Radu

    OCCRP can trace its origins to 2003, when Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu first met at an International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) training in Bulgaria. Paul had recently founded the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism in Bucharest, while Drew was in the process of starting up the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) in Sarajevo.

    'I was supposed to be giving a talk on trafficking in human beings,' recalls Drew. 'But when I talked to Paul, I quickly realized that he knew a lot more about trafficking than I did. So I asked ICFJ if he could become a co-trainer for the next training and that's how we started working together.'

    During the next couple of years Drew and Paul were in weekly contact, trading advice on safety, cybersecurity, public records – and above all the people of interest whom they were trying to track across borders. They found they were often working in parallel – tackling the same issues.

    ‘We were looking at the same people. So we looked at other countries where these same criminals were busy,' Paul said.

    drew conferenceDrew Sullivan

    Their first joint effort came in 2005, when they joined to follow a cluster of companies operating in the energy sector.  Recruiting friends and colleagues from Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania, they pooled their resources on what became the Power Brokers Project, which won the first-ever Global Shining Light Award from the Global Investigative Reporting Network (GIJN).

    In its award announcement, GIJN described it this way: "The project investigated an energy crisis that caused massive power outages across Romania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Albania. The series exposed questionable deals by shadowy businessmen operating across the Balkans that returned huge profits to power traders but resulted in exorbitant electricity rates applied to impoverished citizens."

    To them, the experience proved the efficacy of cooperating regionally. They felt encouraged to take it further.

    'That was a wake-up call. We realized that we could do more together than separately,' says Drew. 'And we could save money by centralizing some of the more burdensome costs like media insurance, access to commercial databases, tool development and even research and fundraising.'

    The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) funded them on building this central hub and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project was born.

    ‘The name OCCRP came from the title of our original grant proposal – it even sounds like a grant proposal title,' Drew says. 'But OCCRP became the tool we needed.'

    The OCCRP network opened an office in Sarajevo sharing offices with CIN and immediately started to grow with new centers joining on a monthly basis. But Radu soon left to accept a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.

    The departure was a blessing in disguise.  At Stanford, Paul saw what the best minds were designing in Silicon Valley and the power of technology. Energized from the experience, Paul immediately began designing new tools including the Investigative Dashboard, or ID, which is a virtual research center that helps expose complex networks of crime and corruption. This grew directly out of the needs of centralizing research and finding more efficient ways to follow money all over the world.

    BusinessData

    ID was launched after Paul’s fellowship, then recalibrated and renewed with help from Google Ideas several years later. Meanwhile, Paul designed a complementary tool: a data visualization instrument called Visual Investigative Scenarios (VIS). This illustrates the type of complex international networks revealed by ID research. Both VIS and the ID would not have been possible without significant contributions from OCCRP and GIJN members - as well as contributions from hackers and visual artists.

    As OCCRP kept growing, Paul and Drew registered the Journalism Development Network, or JDN, and made OCCRP a trade name. They formed a board of directors including some of the most respected journalists in the business. Drew became JDN's executive director, and Paul became executive director at OCCRP, but it’s their close working relationship, cooperation and communication that has shaped OCCRP. OCCRP expanded again by opening an EU-based branch in Bucharest in 2011, co-located with the RISE Project (another OCCRP member, co-founded by Paul).  It has full-time editors working in Tbilisi, Belgrade, Kyiv and Moscow.

    Over the years, OCCRP has grown from six journalists working in five countries to more than 150 journalists in 30 countries. Its staff and collaborators are some of the best journalists who are active today, winning every major award and speaking around the world.  And during this time the model of networked, country-based centers working together has proven its value over and over – and is now being imitated around the globe.

    The country-based center model inspired the formation of similar centers in Serbia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, and other countries across the world.  OCCRP covers the world by cooperating with other partners including Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), Connectas and InsightCrime in Columbia and others. OCCRP is a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

    OCCRP has quietly become one of the world’s largest and most effective investigative reporting organizations, regularly winning international awards and working with the best news organizations globally. The network is active from Europe to Central Asia but also works in Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.

    ‘We have been told that OCCRP is an ideal model for media development,' Drew says. 'That's great. But its design has always been driven by the immediate needs of our reporting and our members. And it always will be.'

  • OCCRP Activities

    "More than 70 percent of all reporters who are killed worldwide are killed because of their work. There are no safety programs that teach journalists how to report safely at the nexus where criminal networks meet corrupt government. Our mission is to keep reporters not only alive but feeling sufficiently safe to continue their work. We have developed our own unique safety program. At its heart is the importance of professional standards of research, writing and editing as a means of increasing accuracy and safety. We work with newsroom leaders as well as reporters on a story by story basis to determine the risks and to design procedures that are sometimes unique to a story. Our training is continuous and holistic – it has become a daily part of all of our lives." Drew Sullivan

     Capacity building and training for standards and security are at the core of OCCRP activities. The OCCRP works regularly with international non-profit partners like Connectas, Columbia; the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ); and ANCIR, the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting modeled after OCCRP. We also train at conferences, trainings and workshops worldwide, ranging from Tunisia to Nepal to Kazakhstan.  Our members collaborate extensively with journalists from international media on individual stories, enabling them to access the information they need via our research tools.  We work with reporters in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Central America, the Pacific, and North America as well as dozens of media in Europe through to Central Asia.

    OCCRP reporters and editors are in high demand as international speakers and trainers, being asked to participate in more than 50 events a year, in locations ranging from Iceland to Brazil. This international influence comes solely from the practice of core journalism skills.  Other organizations in developing countries, recognizing OCCRP’s achievements, are seeking advice, training and relationships with OCCRP.  This, in turn, helps to build the relationships between member centers far beyond their borders and allows them to leverage their international reporting more effectively.  Some of the organizations who invited us recently include the OSCE, the UNODC, the World Economic Forum, Google Ideas, GIJN, Investigative Reporters and Editors and many more. Our YanukovychLeaks reporters are experiencing worldwide interest in how they discovered and uploaded the documents that were hurled into an ornamental lake as the outgoing president fled...

    Some recent events:

    OCCRP Reporters Speak at Point Conference, Sarajevo:

    Stevan Dojcinovic was joined by Vlad Lavrov and Anna Babinets, who came to talk about YanukovychLeaks and the Euromaidan protests.

     

    OCCRP Reporters Speak At International Journalism Festival In Italy

    OCCRP executive director Paul Radu and lead investigative reporter Miranda Patrucic presented workshops at the April 30-May 5 International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.

     

    Investigative Journalism and National Parliaments Combating Corruption

    Khadija Ismayilova made a presentation on corrupt practices within the public sector in Azerbaijan; Paul Radu illustrated some investigations conducted by OCCRP.

     

    Tunisia: OCCRP Reporters Train Journalists At Investigative Seminar

    OCCRP reporters Miranda Patrucic, Paul Radu, and Rosemary Armao conducted trainings at an April 21-23 seminar for the first graduating class of investigative journalism students at Tunisia's Institute of Press and Information Sciences (Institut de Presse et des Sciences de l’Information, IPSI)

  • Board of Directors

    JDN/OCCRP Board of Directors

    Marina Gorbis, (President)
     
     
    Marina Gorbis
    Gorbis is the executive director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF). She created the Global Innovation Forum, a project comparing innovation strategies in different regions, founded the Global Ethnographic Network (GEN), and led IFTF’s Technology Horizons Program, focusing on interaction between technology and social organizations. She has authored publications on international business and economics, with an emphasis on regional innovation.
    David Boardman, (Treasurer)
     
     
    David Boardman

    David Boardman is Dean of the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has academic and financial responsibility for one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind, with more than 3,000 students and 250 faculty members.

    Previously, Boardman was Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Seattle Times, the largest news organization in the Pacific Northwest. Under his leadership, The Times won four Pulitzer Prizes and produced 10 Pulitzer finalists.

    Boardman personally has been the recipient of numerous other major national awards, including the National Ethics Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Goldsmith Prize in Investigative Reporting from Harvard University, the Worth Bingham Prize in Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and the Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award.

    He is chair of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Lenfest Insitute for Journalism and the Solutions Journalism Network. He also serves on the boards of the American Society of News Editors Foundation, the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. He sits on the advisory boards of ProPublica, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and Investigative Reporting Denmark. Boardman serves on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and is its immediate past president.

    Boardman also is a past president and board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and of the American Society of News Editors, and served as chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He is a Poynter Ethics Fellow. He is a former member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board and has served four times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes.

    Boardman has conducted seminars for journalists in Denmark, Bosnia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Hong Kong and South Africa.

    He is a member of the Temple University Press Board of Review.

    Before joining The Times in 1983, Boardman was a reporter and editor at several papers in the Northwest, and worked on a construction project in Liberia, West Africa. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has a graduate degree from the University of Washington. He is an inductee of both the Medill Alumni Hall of Achievement and the University of Washington Communications Hall of Fame.

    He has volunteered as a youth basketball coach and has served on advisory boards supporting music and journalism programs in public schools.

    He is married to Barbara Winslow Boardman, a writer and editor. They have two daughters. He enjoys kayaking, hiking, yoga, reading, cooking, wine, travel, music, and cheering on the Temple Owls and the Northwestern Wildcats.

    Victor Jacobsson
    Victor Jacobsson is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Advisor. He currently manages a private investment firm based in Stockholm. As an entrepreneur, Victor co-founded Klarna Bank in 2005 where he served in various roles, primarily as Chief Financial Officer. Victor has a master degree from the Stockholm School of Economics.
    Anders Alexanderson
     
     
    Anders Alexanderson

    Anders Alexanderson is Executive Vice President at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga). He is one of the founders of The Centre for Media Studies at SSE Riga, which provide further education in investigative reporting for journalists from former Soviet republics and Russia.

    He has a background in the media in Sweden and has held management positions at several newspapers. He is a media entrepreneur and was the founder of one of the first internet consulting companies in western Sweden and one of the first private radio stations in Sweden. Before his position at SSE Riga he worked in public affairs positions in Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and in Russia.

    OCCRP Member Representative

    Saska Cvetkovska
     
     
    Saska Cvetkovska

    Saska Cvetkovska is investigative reporter and media freedom activists. She is co-founder of the Investigative Reporting Lab – Macedonia, a non-government organization whose mission is to fight misinformation with real investigative reporting through inter-disciplinary approaches that include technology, academic research and investigative reporting. Cvetkovska has won more than ten domestic and international awards. She is author of Mediapedia, the first database of Macedonian media ownership, a project that has mapped online news media since 2014. Since 2016, she was a lead reporting in the project Spooks and Spins- The Information wars in the Balkans looking at how Macedonia became a haven for propaganda.

    Cvetkovska has worked on a series of national and cross-border investigations that exposed corruption, the illicit trade of arms, espionage and the global information wars. She is also the author of Getdata, the first Macedonian online tool that guides researchers and reporters how to find data online and offline in Macedonia and the region. Many of the stories Cvetkovska and her team broke was while they were under constant threats, attacks and long-term surveillance including a years long wiretapping program by the former government.

    In 2018 she was elected by Macedonian journalists to represent them on the Board of Directors of the Association of Journalist of Macedonia. The organizations mission is to improve the conditions in which Macedonian journalists operate.

     

    Ex-Officio Members

    Drew Sullivan
     
     
    Drew Sullivan
    Sullivan is the editor and co-founder of OCCRP and served as the first director. He founded the Journalism Development Network, an innovative media development organization with programs worldwide. He has served on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting. Before becoming a journalist, he was an aerospace engineer on the Space Shuttle Project for Rockwell International Space Systems. He worked on stories with OCCRP that have been awarded the Daniel Pearl Award, the Online Journalism Award for investigative reporting, the Global Shining Light Award for reporting under duress, the Tom Renner award for Crime Reporting and many other international awards.
    Paul Radu
     
     
    Paul Radu
    Radu is the executive director of OCCRP and a co-creator of the Investigative Dashboard concept, the Visual Investigative Scenarios software, and the RISE Project, a new platform for investigative reporters and hackers. He has held a number of fellowships including the 2008 Knight International Journalism fellowship with the International Center for Journalists as well as a 2009-2010 Stanford Knight Journalism Fellowship. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Knight International Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Global Shining Light Award, the Tom Renner Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.
  • Moldova: Pro-Russia Party Banned from Elections After OCCRP Expose

    Patria, a pro-Russian political party has been struck from the slate of upcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova by a ruling from the country's Appeals Court on Thursday.

    Renato Ustatii
    Renato Ustatii

    A decision to bar the party from the polls was reached after the emergence of surreptious recordings made by authorities of an interview between an OCCRP reporter and party leader, Renato Usatii, where he talked about his relationship with Russian state interests. He also made threats against the life of Russian banker German Gorbuntsov.

  • OCCRP Nominated for European Press Prize Investigative Reporting Award

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is one of six finalists for the 2013 European Press Prize’s Investigative Reporting Award, which is given to “the individual or team effort which has done most to unearth facts that the public – and society – has a right to know.”

  • OCCRP Launches New Website. Welcome!

    Welcome to OCCRP’s brand new website.


    Operating in HTML5, it is now primed to look just as beautiful and operate just as smoothly on mobile devices as it does on larger screens.

     Here, OCCRP will continue to deliver and expand its wide range of daily news, pertinent projects and deep investigations.

    Any problems encountered using the site, as well as feedback and comments, can be sent to daily@occrp.org.

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