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Global Anti-Corruption Consortium

The Global Anti-Corruption Consortium is a ground-breaking partnership that brings together investigative reporting from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and advocacy driven by Transparency International.

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Paul Radu, Co-Founder and Chief of Innovation, OCCRP

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What's at stake?

Investigative journalists and civil society groups have a critical role to play in documenting and proving corruption. Investigative journalism is about finding out the truth and publishing it regardless of any inconvenience caused to governments, politicians or other public persons. It seeks not to affect direct change but affect those directing change with impartial information. Civil society activists, for their part, target decision-makers and institutions to advocate and campaign for change.

All the while, tycoons, corrupt officials and criminal networks are highly organised and coordinated in their attempts to profit and evade scrutiny, journalists and civil society have often worked in silos.

In an increasingly complex world, strategic alliances between anti-corruption actors are vital to meaningfully fight back against the global scourge of corruption.

What we're doing about it

The Global Anti-Corruption connects Transparency International’s global anti-corruption movement with experienced networks of OCCRP’s investigative reporters across the world. Our partnership allows knowledge and evidence generated through OCCRP’s corruption investigations to inform and strengthen our policy and legal advocacy.

Since 2016, OCCRP and Transparency International have successfully leveraged their global reach to spotlight cross-border corruption and demand change. With dozens of in-depth investigations published annually, the partnership has allowed Transparency International to push for policy change and legal action in a number of cases.

Our approach

Tackling cross-border, grand corruption means exposing the systems that allow hundreds of billions of dollars to be siphoned off from natural resources and state funds; as well as addressing the ramifications for low- and middle-income countries.

It means exposing the perpetrators, professional enablers and loopholes that facilitate the illicit flow of money; fighting for the key changes needed in low- and middle-income countries held back as a result; and pushing for justice to ensure accountability, good governance and sustainable development.

The Global Anti-Corruption Consortium is guided by three broad thematic priorities: money laundering in the global web of Western financial systems; state capture; and natural resource exploitation through grand corruption.

With a growing constellation of partners that bring distinct media, advocacy, tech and legal angles to bear, the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium is an inclusive partnership that aims to work with many collaborators.

The Azerbaijani Laundromat

OCCRP’s Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation revealed a US$2.9 billion money- laundering operation and slush fund run by Azerbaijan’s ruling elite. Run through four shell companies registered in the UK, with billions passing through Danske Bank – Denmark’s biggest bank – the money bought silence or praise from European politicians in influential human rights bodies, as well as from journalists and representatives of international organisations.

Over the same two-year period, the government imprisoned more than 90 human rights activists, opposition members and journalists on politically motivated charges.

Investigative journalists identified delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) among the ultimate recipients of the laundered money.

Transparency International rallied public pressure, presented European and national policymakers with evidence of reputation laundering and advocated for an independent investigation into allegations of corruption at the PACE. Resignations at the highest levels of the PACE followed almost immediately. A year later, PACE’s independent external investigation found numerous breaches of codes of conduct and, in some cases, corrupt activities.

In March 2019, Transparency International Germany filed criminal complaints against the current and former members of the German Bundestag over alleged bribery. In January 2020, the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt am Main, Germany opened an investigation into these parliamentarians.

The Azerbaijani Laundromat also provided evidence to push for greater accountability of Western financial institutions facilitating these schemes, and tougher EU-wide anti-money laundering supervision.

Golden visas & passports

When Transparency International first started scrutinising EU investment migration schemes – known as ‘golden visas and passports’ – it was not common to see these as a threat to global anti-corruption efforts. Isolated corruption stories in individual countries were casually dismissed by governments that were benefiting from the substantial revenues these schemes were raising.

Then, OCCRP’s Gold for Visas investigations illustrated rampant sale of EU citizenship and residency to the ultra-rich with few checks.

Armed with cases across the continent and in-depth analysis, in 2018 and 2019, Transparency International and Global Witness made the case for an EU-wide reform.

While we soon convinced the EU to take notice, reforms have stalled. Transparency International kept up the pressure, and the campaign saw a breakthrough in the final months of 2020. 

Following the Cyprus Papers investigations by Al Jazeera, Cypriot government ended its citizenship-by-investment programme. The European Commission – just like we had recommended – initiated legal action against Cyprus and Malta, with an eye towards banning investor citizenship schemes in the EU.

The Great Gambia Heist

Yahya Jammeh ruled The Gambia for 22 long years. The Great Gambia Heist investigations exposed how he and his cronies allegedly looted government funds, draining state-owned enterprises, the country’s pension fund and natural resources.

In 2019, OCCRP documented the previously unknown scale of grand corruption under Jammeh. Acting with impunity, his government looted the country’s assets, committed egregious human rights violations and passed repressive laws to disempower citizens.

On the heel of these investigations, Transparency International and local civil society group Gambia Participates engaged with communities through an innovative ‘participatory video’ filmmaking technique. The resulting film contains stories that serve as testimonies to the human cost of corruption and to people’s perseverance.

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Following its screening, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) invited three people interviewed in the film to testify about the harm they had suffered. The film was shown at two TRRC hearings to direct the line of questioning and admitted as evidence, leading to two former officials being questioned.

In July 2020 – following a submission we made the year before – the US Department of Justice began proceedings to confiscate a property connected to Jammeh.


The Global Anti-Corruption Consortium is currently supported by the governments of Denmark, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as the Open Society Foundations. Governments of Argentina, Australia and Norway also supported the Consortium previously.

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