The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) named the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) as a finalist for the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.
OCCRP reporters investigated a criminal network of phantom companies, dubbed the “Proxy Platform” that laundered money for a wide variety of criminal organizations including Russian and Moldovan organized crime, the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, Vietnamese Triads and the persons who stole Russia tax money in the Magnitsky case. The OCCRP dubbed the criminal conspiracy the “proxy platform”.
Reporters who worked on the story were Mihai Munteanu from OCCRP, Roman Anin from Novaya Gazeta, Russia, Arta Giga from TV3 in Latvia, Inga Springe from Re:Baltica in Latvia, Vlad Lavrov from the Kyiv Post in Ukraine, Valerie Hopkins from OCCRP, Stevan Dojcinovic from CINS-Serbia, Graham Stack, a freelancer from Ukraine and Miranda Patrucic from OCCRP and CIN in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Paul Radu coordinated the project for OCCRP.
"We thank ICIJ and we are honored to be a finalist in this prestigious award," said OCCRP editor Drew Sullivan. "This is special because Daniel Pearl took on the toughest stories in the toughest places with bravery and skill. The reporters who partner with us did the same in this project and it’s great to see them get this recognition."
OCCRP partners InSight Crime and Swedish public television (SVT) were also nominated in the international field along with the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Chicago Tribune. OCCRP assisted another finalist by provided research and reporting assistance for SVT's investigation into Swedish telecom giant Teliasonera's and bribes paid to the daughter of the president of Uzbekistan.
“These are groundbreaking stories that in many cases were reported at great personal risk," ICIJ director Gerard Ryle said of the finalists. "They have had major impact in the countries that they covered and they reflect the very best of our profession.”
OCCRP was nominated for the Daniel Pearl award twice prior and won in 2011 for Offshore Crime, Inc., a project investigating Eastern European criminals and corrupt politicians utilizing offshore havens for criminal activity.
“OCCRP employs new technologies and embraces cross border investigative reporting to expose the highest levels of organized crime and corruption,” said Paul Radu. “Our partner organizations are leading the way in these skills.”
OCCRP is a consortium of 18 investigative centers and commercial news organizations and dozens of journalists from Europe to Central Asia to Latin America. It is one of the world’s largest investigative news organizations and focus on cross border reporting with 80 reporters regularly producing more than 60 investigative stories per year.