While governments and citizens of Eastern Europe were struggling with the recent financial crisis and trying to borrow money from international financial institutions, billions of euros circulated in the region in an illegal, parallel system that enriched organized crime figures and corrupt politicians.
OCCRP investigated this large-scale criminal enterprise all over Eastern Europe and across the world and painstakingly combed through thousands of financial transactions, company and court records from all over the world in order to put the pieces of the puzzle together. We discovered a complex structure made of dozens and maybe hundreds of phantom companies that are involved in laundering billions for organized crime groups and corrupt politicians. We were able to expose one small part of the hidden network, and found connections to Russian authorities, crime figures, businessmen, Asiangangsters, Sinaloa Cartel Drug money and other interesting people who shouldn’t be connected. And it was all made possible by the Latvian and Russian bankers, the lawyers, the offshore registration agents, the proxy directors and the members of the criminal services industry that makes it so easy to hideownership and launder money.
We have also found that scores of unaware or naïve people have their identities borrowed or stolen to front criminal behavior. These people are ultimately responsible for crimes they never committed. They are the proxies.
Welcome to the Proxy Platform.
The project was done by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project — a consortium of investigative centers, journalists andmedia organizations throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Roman Anin-Novaya Gazeta, Russia
Arta Giga-Nothing Personal, TV3 Latvia
Inga Springe-Re:Baltica; The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism, Latvia
Vlad Lavrov-Kyiv Post, Ukraine
Stevan Dojcinovic-CINS-The Serbian Center for Investigative Journalism
Graham Stack-freelance, Ukraine
Miranda Patrucic-CIN, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Drew Sullivan, OCCRP
Rosemary Armao, OCCRP
Paul Cristian Radu, OCCRP
See the project at http://www.reportingproject.net/proxy/