NEW: Controversial Serbian businessman Stanko Subotić — who's currently suing OCCRP — sold land to French construction giant Vinci for 4x its estimated value.

Our latest #OpenLux investigation with @KRIKrs. 1/…
OCCRP reported in 2018 that Subotić, long linked to Balkan drug lord Darko Saric, was poised to reap millions from a Belgrade airport deal.

Today’s investigation shows the amount of money he received was far greater than initially projected. 2/…
When Nikola Tesla Airport was run by the state, land in the area was estimated to be worth ~€100 per sq meter by a gov’t advisory group.

But Vinci, the French firm that paid to be the airport's operator, ended up paying Subotić €436 per sq meter. He pocketed €47m. 3/
Another key figure in this story is former Portuguese government minister Jose Luis Arnaut. His law firm advised the Serbian gov’t on how to develop the airport.

There’s more👇 4/
Corporate data from #OpenLux shows that Arnaut set up a real estate company that Subotić invested in not long after his €47m payday. 5/
This is our second #OpenLux investigation into Subotić’s Luxembourg holdings.

Our first story revealed ties between the businessman and the inner circle of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who responded to the report.

Read it here: 6/…
Subotić has sued OCCRP, our Editor in Chief @DrewOCCRP, and @KRIKrs journalist @DraganaPeco in Geneva.

Read our statement about this lawsuit here. 7/…

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More from @OCCRP

29 Mar
NEW: OCCRP, @Reuters, @TheTimesofMalta, & @SZ reveal new details on the secret offshore companies and Chinese businessmen that journalist #DaphneCaruanaGalizia was investigating before her assassination — including the mysterious company "Macbridge." 1/…
What is Macbridge? Activists in Malta have pushed the gov’t to find out who’s behind the obscure company, which was mentioned by disgraced accounting firm Nexia BT in a leaked email that discussed channeling money to public officials. 2/
Today, we reveal that Macbridge is a Hong Kong-based firm tied to a prominent Chinese businessman who was also being relentlessly investigated by Caruana Galizia before her murder.

➡️ Chen Cheng, a senior exec at the Chinese branch of multinational consulting firm Accenture. 3/
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
NEW: Ukraine’s top pro-Kremlin politician, Viktor Medvedchuk, and his business partner paid just $40,000 to secure a stake in a Russian energy firm.

It has since paid them tens of millions of dollars in dividends.

OCCRP and @cxemu investigate👇 1/…
This bargain sale, done via companies in Cyprus, was finalized on the same day in 2014 that dozens of gunmen in unmarked military fatigues, known as "little green men," stormed the Crimean parliament.

Both events have helped Russia assert influence in Ukraine. 2/
Medvedchuk and his business partner, Taras Kozak, were recently sanctioned by Ukraine’s government for allegedly financing terrorism. Three news channels under their control have been taken off the air. 3/
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
NEW: A former CIA director and a Trump fundraiser arrived in Turkey in 2018 to help an imprisoned pastor.

What they didn't know was that their host, a businessman linked to Turkey’s president, was entangled in a half-billion-dollar fraud case. 1/…
OCCRP and @LawCrimeNews have reconstructed the backchannel trip, which saw former spy chief James Woolsey and current Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks Jr. attempt to secure the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. 2/
Their Turkish host was Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, a businessman implicated in a fraud case involving a Mormon fundamentalist sect, Armenian-American organized crime, and the theft of half a billion dollars from the U.S. government. 3/
Read 5 tweets
12 Mar
NEW: It’s been widely reported that the Estonian branch of Danske Bank let billions in suspicious money move through its accounts.

Now, a previously unseen report obtained by @berlingske provides stunning new details on how this looked in practice. 1/…
The report, produced by Estonian regulators in 2014, reads like a "how-to" of money laundering.

It lists technique after technique the bank’s shady foreign clients used to move large sums.

It also makes clear that the bank had little interest in questioning its clients. 2/
For example, the bank’s "relationship managers" accepted documentation from clients written in Azerbaijani, though no one on the team spoke the language.

(The bank said that one of its employees used Google Translate). 3/
Read 11 tweets
12 Mar
ANNOUNCEMENT: OCCRP is being sued by Stanko Subotić, a powerful Serbian businessman whom we've written about in several investigations.

We stand by our reporting and will not be intimidated by vexatious lawsuits.…
OCCRP Publisher @DrewOCCRP and @KRIK journalist @DraganaPeco are also named in this suit, which is over this story from 2018. 2/…
Subotić alleges OCCRP and KRIK published the story as part of a media campaign against him orchestrated by the Serbian secret service, the mafia, and corrupt politicians.

"Mr. Subotić has no evidence of these demonstrably false claims," said Sullivan. 3/
Read 7 tweets
11 Mar
NEW: A Miami mansion, ties to Italian crime figures, and a bar shootout.

Meet Artur Shehu: An Albanian businessman who has been accused of building a property empire of stolen land in Albania.

Our investigation with @MiamiHerald: 1/…
Shehu, who offered OCCRP’s reporter "whatever you want" in exchange for dropping the story, is accused of stealing land meant to be returned to Albanians after the collapse of its communist government.

Italian police have linked him to drug trafficking and money laundering. 2/
A former special forces soldier, Shehu allegedly prospered in drug trafficking.

But his time in Albania ended in 1999 after his uncle was gunned down at Shehu’s bar, dying in his arms. 3/
Read 6 tweets

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