We’ve got the mining industry on our minds this week at ICIJ.
That’s because a regular character from past investigations has been back in the headlines. You may remember Israeli tycoon Dan Gertler from Paradise Papers, Panama Papers, and Swiss Leaks. Our 2017 reporting revealed details of the billionaire’s secret deals and relationship with commodity giant Glencore while he negotiated lucrative mining rights with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Weeks after we published that investigation, the United States sanctioned Gertler for having “amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals.”
The mining magnate’s story is emblematic of an industry that’s high-value, high-stakes, and high-risk — especially for residents on the ground in countries that remain poor despite their riches of natural resources. And these extractive ventures almost always involve complicated, opaque, cross-border company structures that funnel money through tax havens around the world.
Gertler secured a surprise, last-minute reprieve from the Trump administration less than two months ago, but has been frozen out of the U.S. financial system once again, ICIJ’s Will Fitzgibbon reports.
Former ICIJ reporter Kyra Gurney has a new book out on the illicit gold trade, which traces a multibillion dollar laundering scheme from Miami to Peru and beyond. She and a co-author spoke to us about exploring the human side of the illegal mining economy.
The Tax Justice Network’s new index finds that the jurisdictions most responsible for global corporate tax abuse are all part of the OECD — a club of wealthy nations that helps set worldwide tax rules.
Yi-Shan Chen, ICIJ’s member from Taiwan, says working on investigations like Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks showed her the power of cooperation among journalists in our latest installment of Meet the Investigators.
ENDING THE SHELL GAME
ICIJ reporter Will Fitzgibbon will be speaking on a panel about cracking down on professional enablers of tax and white collar crimes, along with tax officials from the U.S., U.K., OECD and more. Register for the free session, which takes place on Wed. March 24 at 4:45 pm CET (11:45 am EST), here.
ON DEMAND AT SXSW
If you’re attending the SXSW online festival this week, you can now watch our session, featuring ICIJ’s Emilia Díaz-Struck, BuzzFeed News’ Anthony Cormier, NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell and Karina Carvalho of Transparency International Portugal. The expert panel will be discussing how collaborative journalism projects like FinCEN Files exposed global finance’s inequities, and opportunities to repair and rebuild a more equitable, transparent system.