2021-04-23

STOCKHOLM - In Sweden there are more than 200,000 Syrians. They are considered to be the largest immigrant Arabic-speaking community in that country. The Swedish tourist bureaus provide services to transport a large number of Syrians to their home countries.

In this investigation, a cross-border team monitored eight tourist bureaus, working as unofficial fronts within Swedish territories for an airline company that is listed in the US sanctions list. 

Impact

  • On 7 May 2021 the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in Lebanon issued an official statement with a warning for agents in Sweden and Germany, who sell airline tickets to Syria via Beirut. The goal of these ticket sales offices is to defraud Swedish residents, the Ministry said. The statement came just two weeks after the publication in Daraj of this investigation.
  • After this publication, one of the biggest ticket sales agents arranging flights to Syria removed all the labels from the front of its building and closed its office.

 

PhotoOne of the offices representing itself as an official agent for Cham Wings Airlines in Jönköping, Sweden

Team members

Saljuk Mohammad

Saljuk Mohammad (pseudonym for security reasons) is an investigative journalist specialised in money trails and corruption. 

Jebrill Dayoub

Jebrill Dayoub (pseudonym for security reasons) is an investigative journalist based in Sweden.

Mentor

Nils Hanson

Nils Hanson is an awarded freelance investigative editor for and former editor-in-chief of Swedish public broadcaster SVT’s Mission Investigate.

Nils Hanson

Rana Sabbagh

Rana Sabbagh is co-founder of the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism network (ARIJ) and currently works as senior MENA Investigations Editor for OCCRP.

Fouad Youcefi

Fouad Youcefi is a reporter at SVT Nyheter's foreign editorial office, and host of SVT's Politikbyrån.

Fouad Youcefi
Supported
A grant of €8,615 was allocated on 24/09/2019
ID
MT/2019/088

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