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Romania and Bulgaria, safe havens for Italian mafia money

  • Corruption
  • Europe
  • Finance

The need of Italian mafia networks to carry out vast money-laundering operations took them to Romania and Bulgaria. They set up companies that not only succeeded in flying under the radar but also won government contracts. 

Online illegal wildlife trade

  • Corruption
  • Data Journalism
  • Innovation
  • International
  • Organised crime
  • Trafficking

Although cyberspace is not the main platform for the illegal wildlife trade, it provides an anonymous and versatile marketplace in which to buy and sell. It is safe to say that the internet plays a role at some point in an increasing number of wildlife trafficking incidents.

Rouhani 2.0: mere decoration for the Islamic Republic?

  • Corruption
  • International
  • Politics

TEHRAN - It is now more than a year since the US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran. Since then, the Iranian economy has suffered the stiff sanctions, while unemployment and poverty in the country are rising. Whatever the Americans want to achieve with this, their policy doesn't only create losers, but also winners.

How Frank Timis uses UK-registered companies to exploit Africa's resources

  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Energy
  • Industry

FREETOWN - Following BBC's Panorama investigation into secret oil and gas deal corruption between one of City's most controversial businessmen, Frank Timis, and the Senegalese president's brother, Aliou Sall, a team of journalists from Britain and Sierra Leone funded by our Money Trail grant programme can reveal further insight into just how questionable this deal was.

New oil town Senegal

I put a spell on you. How witchcraft corrodes the African economy and society

  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Organised crime

"Under the guise of witchcraft people are tortured, murdered and development money is wasted. But local governments and international aid organisations remain passive," write Alberique Houndjo (Benin), Chief Bisong Etahoben (Cameroon), Fidelis Mac-Leva (Nigeria), Anneke Verbraeken (The Netherlands). 

Chinese Flying Money: the secret key to China’s international trading success

  • Corruption
  • Organised crime
  • Politics

WINDHOEK - The single greatest obstacle that law enforcement officials have in combatting wildlife crime and related smuggling is the lack of a money trail that can be used as evidence in court to secure convictions against the key organisers of such transactions.

Where the Cape abalone ends up: shucked abalone shells on top of a non-descript building in New Territories, Hong Kong, where almost all abalone smuggled from Africa ends up as part of the fei qian chain before being smuggled into Mainland China.

How the Italian 'Ndrangheta infiltrated East Berlin reconstruction

  • Corruption
  • Europe
  • Organised crime

BERLIN - "They described men arriving in Berlin with briefcases full of cash, wanting to buy land, buildings, restaurants". Bernd Finger, former chief investigator of the BKA in Berlin told us regarding statements he received from the Treuhandgesellschaft (the DDR trust company), during the nineties. "Everything was legal at the time, nobody could have known or suspected that this money was there to be laundered”.

The shadow of the highest dam in the world

  • Corruption
  • Energy
  • International
  • Politics

In October 2016, the authoritarian president of Tajikistan, Emomali Rachmon, pushed a pile of stones into the river Vachsh with a bulldozer. With this symbolic gesture he gave a new start to the construction of the Rogun dam which started in 1976. With 335 meters, Rogun has to become the highest dam in the world and the largest hydroelectric power plant in Central Asia. Quite a strong achievement for the poorest country in the region.

How Viktor Orbán is exporting his illiberalism

  • Corruption
  • Economy

BUDAPEST - In our project, we’ve discovered how businessmen related to the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán were buying up media outlets in Slovenia. 

Hungarian PM, Viktor Orbán is supporting the leader of the Slovenian far-right, Janez Janša. Orbán offers the help of his allies and hundreds of million forints from the Hungarian taxpayers.

How to fight the global Wall Street landlords

  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Organised crime

Banks and vulture funds make money from ordinary people’s distress. The only way to fight back is to outsmart them. Wall Street giants—the so-called ‘vulture funds’—have been on a house-buying spree across Europe and the United States since the 2008 financial crash.