NEW: OCCRP has won awards for investigations into Raimbek Matraimov, a corrupt former customs official from Kyrgyzstan who enriched himself on the job.

It turns out his successor also lives large despite a modest government salary. 1/…
Zamirbek Karashev was one of Matraimov’s successors as deputy head of customs before being dismissed in April. We found that his daughter attended a luxury private school and went on eye-popping trips. 2/
The Karashev and Matraimov families also vacationed together at a luxury Thai resort, staying in villas complete with a housekeeper and chef. It’s a pattern seen before, when Matraimov’s wife posted photos from Dubai, Turkey, and the Maldives. 3/…
Though Matraimov has admitted to corruption and reached a settlement with prosecutors, paying millions to the government, his successor’s lifestyle — which does not match his declared income — suggests that the Kyrgyz customs service has not been reformed. 4/
The fact that the two families are close — vacationing together and interacting affectionately on social media — also suggests that Matraimov’s network within the customs service remained intact after his dismissal. 5/
Little is known about Karashev’s dismissal — but if his tenure proves to have been typical, those who protested about Matraimov’s corruption may continue to be disappointed at the lack of change. 6/

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More from @OCCRP

8 Jun
NEW: The Sandesara brothers, from one of India’s most ostentatiously wealthy families, have been on the run since 2017. Our latest investigation shows how they’ve evaded justice with the help of high-ranking officials in Albania and Nigeria. 1/…
Once a staple of the Indian tabloids for their lavish spending, brothers Chetan and Nitin Sandesara fled the country after being accused of stealing and laundering more than $700 million through their businesses. 2/
They soon found friends elsewhere.

The brothers and two other family members were swiftly granted Albanian citizenship after pledging to invest over $33m in construction projects alongside their local partner — investments that are now being investigated for money laundering. 3/
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3 Jun
🏆 AWARD: Our Russian member center @istories_media won the @EuroPressPrize‘s Investigative Reporting Award!

Our colleagues were selected for their bombshell investigation into Vladimir Putin's former son-in-law. #europeanpressprize2021
Last year, @istories_media gained access to thousands of emails from the ex-husband of Vladimir Putin’s daughter.

They show the fantastic wealth, power, and sweetheart deals that come with access to Russia’s first family.

Read the story in English:…
Soon after marrying Putin’s daughter, Kirill Shamalov spent an astonishing $100 to acquire a share in Sibur, Russia’s largest petrochemical company, that was worth $380 million.

Read our thread about this deal for more 👇
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25 May
NEW: Belarus has given away land worth $1 billion to construction companies owned by an influential Serbian family, who have churned huge revenues while squeezing out local competition. 1/…
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Just days before the parent company Dana Holdings was sanctioned for its ties to Lukashenko, the ownership structure changed. 3/
Read 5 tweets
24 May
NEW: The Syrian government has been raising money to rebuild its war-stricken cities through a "reconstruction tax" that has taken in billions of Syrian pounds since 2013.

But where is the money really going? 🇸🇾 1/…
2/ Documents reviewed by OCCRP, @SIRAJ_SYRIA, and @FinUncovered suggest the vast majority of the 386 Syrian pounds raised by the Assad regime through the tax were swallowed up by government ministries.
3/ The public was led to believe these funds would be used to help citizens rebuild their homes, but documents suggest less than 10% went to them. The head of the task force that monitors reconstruction efforts suggests the tax is being used to bail out governmental finances.
Read 6 tweets
22 May
NEW: An oil deal helped catapult Todd Kozel, co-founder of Gulf Keystone, to a new level of wealth, leading to a life of private jets, fine wines, and strippers.

But a bitter divorce brought him tumbling back to earth and exposed a kickback deal. 1/…
The US-Iraq war changed the fortune of Gulf Keystone after it signed a deal with Kurdistan to develop its “oil field of dreams.” On the very same day, it inked a deal to give a Kurdistan politician potentially huge kickbacks, in return for “government relations services.” 2/
Kozel’s lavish lifestyle came back to haunt him. His wife divorced him after his affair with a Lithuanian model. The court case revealed his excesses and led to charges including money laundering. 3/
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NEW: Dangerously polluting oil is being used to heat hospitals, schools, and public institutions across North Macedonia 🇲🇰

Our investigation into this threat to public health and the companies that profited from it. 1/…
Early in 2019 a video of black smoke billowing out of a Skopje maternity hospital surfaced on social media.

People in North Macedonia, which has grappled with air pollution for decades, were shocked. We decided to see what caused these foul-smelling plumes 👇 2/
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All had bought it from Evrotim — a North Macedonian company with no logo, website, or office, but with ties to a powerful politician and businessman. 3/
Read 8 tweets

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