NEW: Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a Zimbabwean fuel tycoon under U.S. sanctions, cashed in on preferential treatment from the country’s government amid the spectacular crash of a new local currency. /1…
Documents and emails obtained by OCCRP reveal how the US-sanctioned fuel magnate used back-channel access to prematurely cash in on state-backed securities. /2
Skirting regulations to obtain otherwise scarce US dollars, Tagwirei and his associates then appear to have used proceeds from the scheme to purchase shares in a lucrative mining project. /3
Experts say that this preferential treatment directly contributed to the crash of the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar, a new currency introduced by the government three years ago in the hope of curbing the country’s economic woes. /4

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More from @OCCRP

11 Jan
NEW #PandoraPapers: One of Ukraine’s top pro-Russia politicians appears to have been the secret owner of Purneft, a Russian firm that operates oil wells near the Arctic Circle.

This isn't the first shadowy oil company we've tied to Taras Kozak 👀 /1…
When Purneft was acquired by a Belarusian state oil company, the owner reportedly earned roughly $50m.

The publicly listed owner of the Russian firm, however, was not a person — but a British Virgin Islands firm called Brimipana.

This story reveals who was behind Brimipana. /2
The owner of Purneft was Aleksandr Kiszel, a little-known Hungarian citizen w/o a track record as a serious businessman.

OCCRP has identified links suggesting that the Hungarian is merely a front for Taras Kozak, a leading pro-Russian politician and media mogul in Ukraine. /3
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
OCCRP is aware of a serious and credible threat directed against the safety of investigative journalist Atanas Tchobanov of our partners BIRD.BG and BIVOL.BG. The authorities have been informed and are taking this threat seriously.
OCCRP’s policy is to aggressively investigate all threats and attacks against its partners and we will act to address this latest threat against Tchobanov.
Any attack on an OCCRP member will result in a significant investment of investigative resources with the goal of bringing any perpetrators to swift justice and to complete the work of any affected journalist.
Read 4 tweets
10 Dec 21
NEW: "What they did in 20 years won’t be recovered in a hundred."

A new investigation by OCCRP reveals how dairy firms and Mexico’s state water agency are allegedly fueling the destruction of one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. 1/5…
The Cuatrociénegas wetlands, in the mountains of the Chihuahua desert, are home to unique bacteria that scientists believe may help unlock the secret of how life on earth began. 2/5
Facilitated by a climate of lawlessness and corruption, experts say that dairy companies in the region have drained huge amounts of water to irrigate crops they grow for cattle fodder. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
7 Dec 21
NEW: A controversial plea deal between the U.S. and money launderer #RezaZarrab just got more complicated.

We reveal that Zarrab still has ties to his criminal network and has received dubious wire transfers since entering the agreement with the gov't. 1/…
Who is Reza Zarrab?

The FBI arrested the money launderer in 2016 for helping Iran dodge international sanctions. So far he’s avoided a long prison sentence by agreeing to testify against a Turkish bank at the center of his criminal operation. 2/…
Under an opaque and controversial plea deal, Zarrab has been allowed to live a government-sanctioned life of luxury under a false name in South Florida.

Today’s investigation uncovers how he’s bankrolled much of this lifestyle 👇3/ ImageImage
Read 7 tweets
6 Dec 21
NEW: Our latest from the #PandoraPapers reveals the role of Russian and Indian businessmen in a massive corruption scheme that cost the Maldives close to $80 million. 1/…
OCCRP reported in 2018 how top officials in the Maldives accepted bribes to illegally lease dozens of islands for tourism development. 2/
Many recipients of the leases remained anonymous due to their use of offshore corporate holdings. 3/
Read 4 tweets
1 Dec 21
NEW: OCCRP and partners have uncovered shell companies in Luxembourg and Panama that may have allowed Venezuelans accused of corruption to acquire luxury Caribbean real estate. #OpenLux 1/…
2) Prosecutors in Andorra charged dozens with receiving money plundered from Venezuela’s state oil company in 2018, including:
➡️ Ex-deputy Venezuelan electricity minister Javier Alvarado Ochoa (below)
➡️ His romantic partner Cecirée Casanova
➡️ José Luis Zabala, a middleman Image
3) Using corporate records from the #OpenLux project, reporters found ties between this trio and luxury real estate in Latin America, including this Cartagena hotel where rooms go for $272 a night. Image
Read 6 tweets

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