Crime, Corruption, and Coronavirus

Credit: OCCRP
Published: March 24, 2020

Countries around the world are struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic. But in times of crisis, there are those who seek their own advantage.

Organized criminal groups and corrupt government officials often find new opportunities to consolidate illicit wealth and power. At the same time, existing corruption and criminality make it that much harder for governments to respond to the growing threat.

OCCRP is watching them. This page will bring together our coverage of those who try to benefit from border closures, commodity shortages, delayed court proceedings, and other disruptions caused by this global pandemic.

Get in Touch

Do you have information on corruption or wrongdoing related to the coronavirus pandemic? We’d like to hear from you. You can contact OCCRP journalists at info@occrp.org or by sending an encrypted email to Aubrey Belford at aubrey@occrp.org (PGP). For maximum security and anonymity, use our SecureDrop service. In the hands of our team of trained researchers and journalists, your information can make a difference.

Investigations

What Lockdown? World’s Cocaine Traffickers Sniff at Movement Restrictions

Drugs keep flowing despite the global pandemic.

20 May 2020 Read the article

Uncertain Diagnosis: The Murky Global Market for Coronavirus Antibody Tests

For several days in late March, North Macedonian citizen Rodzer Zekirovski had all the symptoms of COVID-19: a high fever, aching muscles, and a dry cough. But he couldn’t manage to get a lab test at a state hospital.

6 May 2020 Read the article

The Convict and Coronavirus: Romania’s Million-Mask Mess

A Romanian national healthcare supplier bought a million masks of questionable quality from a convicted organized crime associate with political ties.

15 April 2020 Read the article

Opaque Coronavirus Procurement Deal Hands Millions to Slovenian Gambling Mogul

A Slovenian businessman with investments in gambling — and no background in healthcare — managed in just one day to secure a lucrative contract for millions of dollars in coronavirus protection equipment. It’s unclear what that equipment even is.

3 April 2020 Read the article

Features and Analysis

Arab Reporters During COVID-19 Lockdown: Life On the Edge

Editor Lina Attala lost her breath when she saw the article. It appeared on a pro-government website and claimed that her independent outlet had to close down because she contracted the novel coronavirus by “hanging out with foreigners” and her sister.

3 May 2020 Read the article

Japanese Gangs Vie for Power Amid Pandemic

Japan’s government has been criticized for its slow and inadequate response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Japanese organized crime, meanwhile, has moved to take advantage of the crisis.

22 April 2020 Read the article

In Europe’s Scramble to Buy COVID-19 Supplies, Anti-Corruption Measures Fall Away

In a crisis, there’s no time for bureaucracy. But the special expedited procedures now being used by European governments to buy medical supplies have raised serious transparency concerns — and dodgy purchases are already multiplying.

21 April 2020 Read the article

News

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