Most Viewed Stories of 2013

From rogue lawmakers to deadly drugs and mobsters, see our most viewed stories in 2013.

OCCRP Announces 2013 Organized Crime And Corruption “Person Of The Year”

Every year, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project acknowledges the efforts of those who work tirelessly to promote crime and corruption. For 2013, we gave this dubious distinction to the Romanian parliament.

OCCRP Announces 2012 Organized Crime And Corruption “Person Of The Year”

Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, won the first-ever Organized Crime and Corruption “Person of the Year” award.  Aliyev was chosen because of new revelations concerning how his family had taken large shares in lucrative industries including the telecom, minerals, and construction industries—often through government related deals.

President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev

The Top 5 Deadliest Drugs

Which drug makes its addicts’ flesh rot from the inside out, leaving their skin as scaly as a crocodile’s? Most users of another of our featured drugs don't even live long enough to be killed by the effects of the drugs. Instead, they die by suicide or homicide. Take a look at the five deadliest drugs on the market to learn more.

Narcotic Superhighways: The Top 5 Routes For Drug Trafficking

Where does most of the world’s heroin and cocaine originate from and travel to? Take a look at the Southern, Northern, Andean, and Balkan routes.


Big Trouble at Big Tobacco

Reports piled up from the Japan Tobacco International company’s internal investigations: mobsters were doing business with the firm's Russian distributorship while shipping tons of illegal cigarettes into Europe. Accused smugglers and criminals ran some of its Middle East partnerships. When JTI investigators learned that the firm’s employees or distributors may have been working directly with smugglers, a senior executive blocked investigations.

Following the Magnitsky Money

As Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky slowly died in a Russian prison from abuse and neglect, US$230 million in taxes stolen from his client disappeared into a maze of phantom companies, crooked banks, and offshore accounts. Magnitsky was accused of the largest tax scam in Russian state history despite being the whistleblower who reported it.


The Wall Street Connection

When reporters followed the money, the path was clear —a Moldovan ghost company was used to transfer funds stolen from the Russian tax authority to an international real estate company named Prevezon. Shortly after, Prevezon bought luxury New York apartments near Wall Street. The owner of Prevezon, Denis Katsyv, denied any involvement, but evidence obtained by the OCCRP raised more questions about his involvement.

Swedish Telecom Took Shortcut In Central Asia

When Swedish telecom giant TeliaSonera announced its expansion into Uzbekistan in 2007, the company seemed poised for massive success. Large and undeveloped, Uzbekistan promised years of lucrative growth, with first-year revenue alone projected to be US $26 million. Only a few years later, TeliaSonera became mired in scandal, facing a criminal investigation over that portentous deal. Investigators believe TeliaSonera officials made hidden payments in order to secure its entry into Uzbekistan, a country whose dictatorial president controls business as tightly as he does politics, culture, and dissent.

What Is The Brothers’ Circle?

The Obama Administration has named the Brothers’ Circle as one of the transnational organized crime groups that posed the greatest threat to American security, and recently sanctioned seven of its members. So who are they?

Azeri Enclave In Czech Republic

Azerbaijan's ruling clique has made the Czech Republic a favored destination in recent years. Members have come not just as high-end tourists to see its rich historical sites and natural beauty, but as investors as well. Officials of oil-rich Azerbaijan, including members of the Aliyev ruling family, have established companies in Prague, bought land, and built hotels and luxury villas. The problem is that some of these investments are illegal. The political elite, it appears, has been playing a real life game of Monopoly to acquire properties in the heart of the European Union.

Czech city of Karlovy Vary