Unlike the traditional path to citizenship in countries around the world, for years, Dominica citizenship could be secured without even stepping on the island.
Among thousands who have bought this Caribbean country’s passport — available starting from $100,000 — are Saddam Hussein’s top nuclear scientist, a Libyan colonel who served under Gaddafi, and a man who went on to be Afghanistan’s defense minister. In doing so, they secured visa-free travel, which might not otherwise have been available to them, to more than 130 countries and territories.
They’re not alone.
Our reporters obtained the names of roughly 7,700 people who have purchased Dominica passports. A study of the data identified more than two dozen cases when these new “Dominicans” were investigated, charged with crimes, or sentenced to prison. Some later became fugitives from their home countries.
As well as nefarious actors, the Dominica: Passports of the Caribbean data includes government officials, past and present, who are not accused of any wrongdoing but whose status as “politically exposed persons” merits further scrutiny.
Our stories, and those of our partners, offer an in-depth look at a system of nationality-buying that British authorities recently said has involved “clear and evident abuse.”
Media Partners: Context.ro, Daraj, Der Standard, Follow the Money, Forbes, The Guardian, The Government Accountability Project, Heidi.news, InfoLibre, Le Monde, Lighthouse Reports, The Miami Herald, Paper Trail Media, Proekt, The Reporter and Zamaneh Media
Editing: Antonio Baquero, Alex Dziadosz, Jared Ferrie, Brian Fitzpatrick, Ilya Lozovsky, Sally Mairs, Miranda Patrucic
Writing: Antonio Baquero, Lara Dihmis, Brian Fitzpatrick, Will Jordan, Zack Kopplin, Ilya Lozovsky, Miranda Patrucic
Research and Data: Eric Barrett, Lara Dihmis, Misha Gagarin, Jan Strozyk, Sharad Vyas and Yan Yan
Coordination: Antonio Baquero, Brian Fitzpatrick
Translation: Alyona Koroleva
Fact Checking: Olena LaFoy, Ivana Jeremic, Maura Quatorze, Emad Sayed
Design and Graphics: James O'Brien, Edin Pašović, Sergiu Brega
Promotion: Kathlyn Clore, Ekaterina Selivanova, Charles Turner
Journalists: Fahim Abed (Lighthouse Reports), Roman Badanin (Proekt), Jana Barakat (Daraj), Jeremie Baruch (Le Monde) Antonio Baquero (OCCRP), Attila Biro (Context.ro), Tom Bolsius (Follow The Money), Luc Caregari (Reporter.lu), Daniela Castro (OCCRP), Lara Dihmis (OCCRP), Mahtab Divsalar (Zamaneh Media), Alex Dziadosz (OCCRP), Hazem El Amin (Daraj), Jared Ferrie (OCCRP), Brian Fitzpatrick (OCCRP), Juliette Garside (The Guardian), Kevin Hall (OCCRP), Carina Huppertz (Paper Trail), Alia Ibrahim (Daraj), Jasper Jolly (The Guardian), Will Jordan (OCCRP), Zack Kopplin (Government Accountability Project), Lukas Kotkamp (Follow The Money), William Kung (The Reporter), Sherry Lee (The Reporter), Anand Mangnale (OCCRP), Selma Mhaoud (OCCRP), Hala Nasreddine (Daraj), Frederik Obermaier (Paper Trail), Bastian Obermayer (Paper Trail) , Chikezie Omeje (OCCRP), Miranda Patrucic (OCCRP), Jessica Purkiss (Lighthouse Reports), Ruben Schaar (Follow The Money), Vitaliy Soldatskikh (Proekt), Jan Strozyk (OCCRP), Giacomo Tognini (Forbes), Sharad Vyas (OCCRP), Martin Young (OCCRP), Jacqueline Charles (The Miami Herald), Antoine Harari (Heidi.news), Holly Darrow (The Government Accountability Project).