The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is an independent Washington D.C.-based international network. Launched in 1997 by the Center for Public Integrity, ICIJ was spun off in February 2017 into a fully independent organisation which includes more than 200 investigative journalists and 100 media organizations in over 70 countries who work together on "issues such as "cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power." The ICIJ has exposed smuggling and tax evasion by multinational tobacco companies (2000), "by organized crime syndicates; investigated private military cartels, asbestos companies, and climate change lobbyists; and broke new ground by publicizing details of Iraq and Afghanistan war contracts."
The Panama Papers, was a collaboration of more than 100 media partners, including members of Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), with journalists who worked on the data, culminating in a partial release on 3 April 2016, garnering global media attention. The set of 11.5 million confidential financial and legal document from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca included detailed information on more than 14,000 clients and more than 214,000 offshore entities, including the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state—government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung first received the released data from an anonymous source in 2015. After working on the Mossack Fonseca documents for a year, ICIJ director Gerard Ryle described how the offshore firm had "helped companies and individuals with tax havens, including those that have been sanctioned by the U.S. and UK for dealing with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."
The ICIJ's most recent investigation is the 2017 Paradise Papers, a cross-border, global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world's most powerful people and companies. The project involved 95 media partners and was based on 13.4 million leaked files.
|International Consortium of Investigative Journalists|
|Sheila Coronel (chair), Reginald Chua, Alex Papachristou, Rhona Murphy, Steven King and Gerard Ryle (non-executive director)|
|The Global Muckraker|
In 1997, the Center for Public Integrity began "assembling the world's first working network of premier investigative reporters." By 2000 the ICIJ consisted of 75 world-class investigative reporters in 39 countries.":11
In early November 2014, the ICIJ's Luxembourg Leaks investigation revealed that Luxembourg under Jean-Claude Juncker's premiership had turned into a major European centre of corporate tax avoidance.
In February 2015, the ICIJ website released information about bank accounts in Switzerland under the title Swiss Leaks: Murky Cash Sheltered by Bank Secrecy, which published information on 100,000 clients and their accounts at HSBC.
In February 2017, ICIJ was spun off into a fully independent organisation, which is now governed by three committees: a traditional board of directors with a fiduciary role; an Advisory Committee made of supporters; and an ICIJ Network Committee.
ICIJ was granted nonprofit status from US tax authorities in July the same year.
In 2017, the ICIJ, the McClatchy Company, and the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting "for the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens." In total, the ICIJ won more than 20 awards for the Panama Papers.
From 2008 to 2011, the ICIJ investigated the global tobacco industry, revealing how Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies worked to grow businesses in Russia, Mexico, Uruguay and Indonesia.:23
The ICIJ partnered with The Guardian, BBC, Le Monde, the Washington Post, SonntagsZeitung, The Indian Express, Süddeutsche Zeitung and NDR to produce an investigative series on offshore banking. They reported on government corruption across the globe, tax avoidance schemes used by wealthy people and the use of secret offshore accounts in Ponzi Schemes.
In June 2011, an ICIJ article revealed how an Australian businessman had helped his clients legally incorporate thousands of offshore shell entitles "some of which later became involved in the international movement of oil, guns and money."
In April 2013, a report disclosing details of 130,000 offshore accounts which conducted international tax fraud and the report exposed the account holders activities, it was appropriately titled the Offshore Leaks.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung received a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents from a secret source, created by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca. The so-called Panama Papers provided detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies, including the identities of shareholders and directors which included government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries. Because of the leak the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, was forced to resign on 5 April 2016. By 4 April 2016 more than "107 media organisations in 76 countries" had participated in analyzing the documents, including BBC Panorama and the UK newspaper, The Guardian. Based on the Panama Paper disclosure, Pakistan Supreme Court constituted the Joint Investigation Team to probe the matter and disqualified the Prime Minister Nawas Sharif on July 28, 2017 to hold any public office for life.
The ICIJ and Süddeutsche Zeitung received the Panama Papers in 2015 and distributed them to about 400 journalists at 107 media organizations in more than 80 countries. The first news reports based on the set, along with 149 of the documents themselves,
[T]he Panama Papers reveal an industry that flourishes in the gaps and holes of international finance. They make clear that policing offshore banking and tax havens and the rogues who use them cannot be done by any one country alone. Lost tax revenue is one consequence of this hidden system; even more dangerous is its deep damage to democratic rule and regional stability when corrupt politicians have a place to stash stolen national assets out of public view.
In 2017, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained a "cache" of "13.4 million leaked files" regarding tax havens, known as the Paradise Papers, related to the Bermuda-based offshore specialist Appleby, "one of the world's largest offshore law firms." The files were shared them with the ICIJ and eventually 95 media outlets." They revealed that many of the tax havens used by Appleby are in the Cayman Islands, which is a British territory that "levies no corporate or personal income tax on money earned outside its jurisdiction." The Paradise Papers revealed the "offshore activities of some of the world's most powerful people and companies".
In the course of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers investigations, ICIJ was challenged to learn about and implement various technologies to manage international collaboration on terabytes of data - structured and unstructured (e.g. emails, PDFs) - and how to extract meaningful information from this data. Among the technologies used were the Neo4J graphic database management systems and Linkurious to search and visualize the data. The data-intensive projects involved not just veteran investigative journalists, but also demanded data journalists and programmers.
The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded by the Pulitzer Prize Board for work during the 2016 calendar year. Prize winners and nominated finalists were announced by Mike Pride at 3:00 p.m. EST April 10, 2017.The New York Times won the most awards of any newspaper, with three, bringing its total to one hundred twelve Pulitzer Prizes. The McClatchy Company, Miami Herald, and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists won Investigative reporting, leaving them with a total of fifty-four, twenty-two, and one respectively. The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the prize in public service, bringing their totals to eleven and four respectively. The East Bay Times won Breaking News Reporting, bringing its total to three prizes. The Salt Lake Tribune won its second Pulitzer. The Charleston Gazette-Mail won its first prize for the combined newspaper.Ali Abu Al-Ragheb
Ali Abu al-Ragheb (Arabic: علي أبو الراغب) (born 1946) was the Prime Minister of Jordan from 19 June 2000 until 25 October 2003. He resigned and was replaced by Faisal al-Fayez.
Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb was born in Amman, Jordan in 1946. He obtained his BSc in Civil Engineering in 1967 from the University of Tennessee in the United States.Abu al-Ragheb was partner and managing director of National Engineering and Contracting Co from 1971-1991. He later served as Minister of Industry and Trade in 1991 and in 1995. He was also appointed as Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources in 1991-1993 and was elected to the Jordanian parliament in 1993. Abu Ragheb was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of Defense on 19 June 2000.
Abu al-Ragheb's name was published in the Panama Papers that were released in early April 2016 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).Bahamas Leaks
The Bahama Leaks are 1.3 million internal files from the company register of the Bahamas. After the release of the Panama Papers, in 2016 an unknown source handed over internal data from the national corporate registry of the Bahamas to Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer, who analyzed them with the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). At the same time ICIJ, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media partners published detailed reporting before they published an online database of offshore entities.The files provided data on 175,888 shell companies and trusts that were established in the Bahamas between 1990 and 2016. The 38 gigabyte of data showed that "several current and former heads of state and government and high-ranking politicians, including former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes; Colombia’s former mining minister Carlos Caballero Argáez; Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar; and Angola’s vice-president, Manuel Domingos Vicente were respectively are directors, secretaries, or presidents of Bahamian companies".Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is an American nonprofit investigative journalism organization whose stated mission is "to reveal abuses of power, corruption and dereliction of duty by powerful public and private institutions in order to cause them to operate with honesty, integrity, accountability and to put the public interest first." With over 50 staff members, the CPI is one of the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative centers in America. It won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.
The CPI has been described as an independent, nonpartisan watchdog group. The Center releases its reports via its website to media outlets throughout the U.S. and around the globe. In 2004, CPI's The Buying of the President book was on The New York Times bestseller list for three months.Charles Lewis (journalist)
Charles Lewis is an investigative journalist based in Washington D.C. Lewis founded The Center for Public Integrity and several other nonprofit organizations and is currently the executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. He was an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS news program 60 Minutes. He left 60 Minutes in 1989 and began the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan group which reports on political and government workings, from his home, growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. When commenting on his move away from prime-time journalism, Lewis expressed his frustration that the most important issues of the day were not being reported.
Lewis has given interviews for various publications and appeared in the 2003 documentary Orwell Rolls in His Grave and the 2005 documentary Why We Fight and others. He has discussed the difficulties facing media in trying keeping the public informed when television, newspaper and radio outlets are owned almost entirely by a few major corporations such as Comcast, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
He was a Ferris Professor at Princeton University in 2005, a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University in the spring of 2006, and is currently a tenured professor of journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.
Lewis' 2014 book is 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral IntegrityHe was awarded the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence by Harvard's Nieman Foundation in 2018.David Kaplan (author)
David E. Kaplan (born 1955) is an investigative reporter and former director of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Before this post, he worked for the American newsweekly U.S. News & World Report.Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Practitioners sometimes use the terms "watchdog reporting" or "accountability reporting".
Most investigative journalism has traditionally been conducted by newspapers, wire services, and freelance journalists. With the decline in income through advertising, many traditional news services have struggled to fund investigative journalism, which is time-consuming and therefore expensive. Journalistic investigations are increasingly carried out by news organisations working together, even internationally (as in the case of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers), or by organisations such as ProPublica, which have not operated previously as news publishers and which rely on the support of the public and benefactors to fund their work.
The growth of media conglomerates in the U.S. since the 1980s has been accompanied by massive cuts in the budgets for investigative journalism. A 2002 study concluded "that investigative journalism has all but disappeared from the nation's commercial airwaves". The empirical evidence for this is consistent with the conflicts of interest between the revenue sources for the media conglomerates and the mythology of an unbiased, dispassionate media: advertisers have reduced their spending with media that reported too many unfavorable details. The major media conglomerates have found ways to retain their audience without the risks of offending advertisers inherent in investigative journalism.Jake Bernstein (journalist)
Jake Bernstein is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author. He previously worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. During a 25-year career, he has covered the civil war in Central America, industrial pollution in Texas, political corruption in Miami, system-crashing greed on Wall Street and the secret world of offshore money. He has written travel pieces, reviewed movies and books and taken his journalism to the radio and TV.
His 2017 book is Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite (Henry Holt), which takes an in-depth look at the evolution of the offshore world as seen through the Panama Papers and the journalists and investigators who tried to break through its secrecy. The book has been optioned by Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar, Lawrence Grey and Scott Z. Burns to be made into a feature film.Jean-Jacques Augier
Jean-Jacques Augier (born 23 October 1953) is a French publisher and businessman. He previously worked as an inspector of finances, and was treasurer for the 2012 presidential election campaign of current French president Francois Hollande. Hollande and Augier had been classmates at the National School of Administration(ENA). Augier made international headlines in 2013 after an investigation published by The Guardian newspaper and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that he held substantial offshore holdings in the Cayman Islands, listed under "International Booksores LTD." His partner in his offshore firm, Xi Shu, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Since January, 2013, he is also the owner of French gay magazine Têtu.List of people and organisations named in the Paradise Papers
This is a list of people and organisations named in the Paradise Papers as connected to offshore companies. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists had stated in their politicians database as disclaimer, that "There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly. "Luxembourg Leaks
Luxembourg Leaks (sometimes shortened to Lux Leaks or LuxLeaks) is the name of a financial scandal revealed in November 2014 by a journalistic investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. It is based on confidential information about Luxembourg's tax rulings set up by PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2002 to 2010 to the benefits of its clients. This investigation resulted in making available to the public tax rulings for over three hundred multinational companies based in Luxembourg.
The LuxLeaks' disclosures attracted international attention and comment about tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg and elsewhere. This scandal contributed to the implementation of measures aiming at reducing tax dumping and regulating tax avoidance schemes beneficial to multinational companies.
The judicial aspects of this case concern the persons charged by Luxembourg justice for participating in the revelations. No multinational company was charged. The LuxLeaks trial took place in spring 2016 and led to the condemnation of the two whistleblowers. The appeal trial's judgment was delivered in March 2017, upholding monetary fines and reducing the suspended jail sentence for Deltour.Mossack Fonseca
Mossack Fonseca & Co. (Spanish pronunciation: [mos.ˈsak̚k fõn.ˈse.ka] was a Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider,. It was, at one time, the world's fourth largest provider of offshore financial services. From its 1977 foundation until the April 2016 publication of the Panama Papers it remained mostly obscure, even though it sat at the heart of the global offshore industry, and acted for about 300,000 companies. More than half are registered in British tax havens – as well as in the UK. The firm received worldwide media attention in April 2016, when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published information about its clients' financial dealings in the Panama Papers articles, following the release of an enormous cache of its documents from between 1970 and 2015 leaked to the news media. Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who led the disclosure efforts, was subsequently murdered by a car bomb on October 16, 2017.On March 14, 2018, the law firm announced that it was shutting down, because of the economic and reputational damage inflicted by the disclosure of its role in global tax evasion by the Panama Papers.Offshore Leaks
Offshore Leaks is the name of a report disclosing details of 130,000 offshore accounts in April 2013. Some observers have called it the biggest hit against international tax fraud of all times (to date), although it has been pointed out that normal businesses may use the offshore legislation to ease formalities in international trade. The report originated from the Washington D.C.-based investigative journalism nonprofit, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who collaborated with reporters around the world to produce the series of investigative reports published in connection with ICIJ's The Global Muckraker. The investigation is based on a cache of 2.5 million secret records about the offshore assets of people from 170 countries and territories, obtained by ICIJ's director, Gerard Ryle. The ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database is headed with the cautionary paragraph: "There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly."
More than 100 journalists from more than 60 countries and dozens of news organizations have taken part in the investigation, which has since expanded to include revelations about the offshore holdings of China's business and political elites.Paradise Papers
The Paradise Papers are a set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments that were leaked to the German reporters Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer from the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and a network of more than 380 journalists. Some of the details were made public on 5 November 2017 and stories are still being released.
The documents originate from legal firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. They contain the names of more than 120,000 people and companies. Among those whose financial affairs are mentioned are, separately, AIG, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers of 2016 as the biggest data leak in history.Peter de Putron
Peter Nicholas de Putron (born October 1963) is the chief executive officer of Bell Rock Capital Management LLP.
De Putron is resident in Jersey and is the brother-in-law of Andrea Leadsom, the British Conservative Party member of Parliament and financial services minister who was briefly a contender for the position of leader of the Conservative party and hence Prime Minister in July 2016. He has been a Conservative Party donor. His wife, Carolynne Hayley de Putron, is head of investor relations at De Putron Fund Management for which Andrea Leadsom also worked in the 1990s. De Putron was one of those mentioned in the "Jersey files" which were leaked from Kleinwort Benson to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.Sven Bergman
Sven Bergman is an investigative reporter/producer for the current affairs show "Uppdrag granskning" on Sveriges Television, SVT.He works in a team with Fredrik Laurin and Joachim Dyfvermark.The trio has specialized in global investigative journalism, and often cooperates with fellow journalists around the world.
For their stories the trio has been awarded numerous international awards, such as the ICIJ Daniel Pearl Award, Edward R Murrow Award, Overseas Press Clubs Eric and Amy Burger Award and Prix Circom.
Together with his teampartners Sven Bergman is the only journalist who has been awarded three times with the most prestigious Swedish award: Stora journalistpriset (2013, 2007, 2005).
Sven Bergman is a member to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ. A global network of 185 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.Swiss Leaks
Swiss Leaks (or SwissLeaks) is the name of a journalistic investigation, released in February 2015, of a giant tax evasion scheme allegedly operated with the knowledge and encouragement of the British multinational bank HSBC via its Swiss subsidiary, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse). Triggered by leaked information from French computer analyst Hervé Falciani on accounts held by over 100,000 clients and 20,000 offshore companies with HSBC in Geneva, the disclosed information has been called "the biggest leak in Swiss banking history".The Global Mail
The Global Mail was a not-for-profit multimedia site for longform and project-based journalism in the public interest operating from 2012 to 2014. Based in Sydney, Australia, the site launched in February 2012 with philanthropic funding from internet entrepreneur Graeme Wood, who committed funding for five years.
In July 2013, The Global Mail became the first institutional member of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), as part of an effort to bolster cross-border investigative reporting. The partnership involves funding a new Global Investigative Journalism Fellowship for an Australian journalist and full-time research desk for the consortium.
The Global Mail was free to access and free of advertising. By contrast with other news sites, it primarily focuses on investigative, long-form and data journalism and analysis, electing not to "swim in the 24/7 news cycle."
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