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SOS Chrétiens d’Orient in Syria: The far-right French NGO supporting Bashar al-Assad

  • Conflict
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Religion

French humanitarian NGO SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOSCO) claims to support persecuted Christians in Syria and the wider Middle East without interfering in conflicts or local politics. But in reality, the seven-year-old NGO—which was founded by far-right, conservative, Catholic activists— thinly veils its agenda to amplify Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s propaganda and push for a normalisation of diplomatic relationships between Damascus and EU countries.

Inside Zimbabwe's illicit gold-mining trade

  • Conflict
  • Corruption
  • Finance

HARARE - Gold is Zimbabwe's chief export product. However, partly because of the country's monetary policy, an estimate of 50% of artisanal and small-scale mined gold in Zimbabwe is lost to smuggling, causing bloody turf wars that have claimed hundreds of lives.

Young miner in Zimbabwe shows mercury coated gold

A Betting Nation

  • Corruption
  • Finance

The three legs of this investigation reveal:

  1. Kenya's enormous betting addiction;
  2. At the same time the Kenyan government removed a tax for betting companies, a cousin of Kenya's president accumulated a financial stake in betting giant SportPesa;
  3. SportPesa has been sucking profits out of its lucrative Kenyan business by paying millions of pounds to a software company it owns in the UK.

How millions of Kenyans were exposed to Facebook fraud

NAIROBI - Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, has been used to attract millions of Kenyans to fake companies who are after their personal information. Kenyan journalist Odanga Madung exposed the series of frauds the US tech giant was unable to stop. 

Fake news production in the Middle East

  • Politics
  • Terrorism

BAGHDAD - This series of articles investigates the production and dissemination of fake news to sow instability in Iraq and the Middle East. It reveals how Iraqi (terrorist) groups are paying Facebook millions to churn out fake news, and gives an inside look in Hezbollah's fake news training camps.

Baghdad

Simandou: a mountain of wealth and bribery cases

  • Corruption
  • Environment

CONAKRY - A team of journalists followed the money, investigating Guineagate, a corruption case that involved a French national promoting the interests of a private company that sought a mining license at Simandou Mountains, the world’s largest known deposits of untapped iron.

Cash Transfers in Climate Change Adaptation Never Reached Kenya's Farmers

  • Agriculture
  • Data Journalism
  • Ecology
  • Economy
  • Environment

LODWAR/NAIROBI - In northern Kenya, drought caused by climate change brought also a surge in cash transfers to farmers. Millions have been invested, but locals claim they haven't received the promised financial support. The auditor general in Kenya claims billions of shillings are being lost at the responsible agencies. 

Tracking South Africa’s mining millions

  • Environment
  • Industry

PRETORIA - Mining companies publicly listed in the United Kingdom must disclose the payments they make to governments, including taxes, royalties, and license fees. But this is not always the case in South Africa. A data investigation by a team of journalists and activists highlighted how these large royalty payment amounts are reported, while miners have no way of knowing where billions of dollars paid went.

The Consultant: Why did a palm oil conglomerate pay $22m to an unnamed ‘expert’ in Papua?

  • Corruption
  • Environment

MONAKWARI - This investigation examines a $22 million “consultancy fee” paid by one of the world’s largest palm oil conglomerates, the Korindo Group, in connection with the acquisition of a shell company that held permits to establish an oil palm plantation in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua.

How Israeli mercenaries trained the Cameroonian army

  • Corruption
  • Security

YAOUNDE - Over the past decades, a handful of Israelis have overseen and trained elite units of the Cameroonian army. Their paid services brought them millions of dollars, which they invested around the world. Meanwhile, the army unit they've trained, the BIR, has committed extensive human rights violations.