international network of investigative reporters
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is an independent, Washington, D.C.-based international network of more than 200 investigative journalists and 100 media organizations in over 70 countries. Launched in 1997 by the Center for Public Integrity, ICIJ was spun off in February 2017 into a fully independent organization working on "issues such as "cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power." The ICIJ has exposed smuggling and tax evasion by multinational tobacco companies (2000), "by organized crime syndicates; investigated private military cartels, asbestos companies, and climate change lobbyists; and broke new ground by publicizing details of Iraq and Afghanistan war contracts."The Panama Papers, was a collaboration of more than 100 media partners, including members of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, with journalists who worked on the data, culminating in a partial release on 3 April 2016, garnering global media attention. The set of 11.5 million confidential financial and legal documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca included detailed information on more than 14,000 clients and more than 214,000 offshore entities, including the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state—government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung first received the released data from an anonymous source in 2015. After working on the Mossack Fonseca documents for a year, ICIJ director Gerard Ryle described how the offshore firm had "helped companies and individuals with tax havens, including those that have been sanctioned by the U.S. and UK for dealing with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."
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