Photo: Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Getty Images
Photo: Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Getty Images

Secrecy for Sale

About This Project: Secrecy For Sale

Secrecy For Sale: Inside The Global Offshore Money Maze  is one of the largest and most complex cross border investigative projects in journalism history.

For the initial stages of the project, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists collaborated with more than 110 journalists in 58 countries in an attempt to strip away the biggest mystery associated with tax havens: the owners of anonymous companies. Since then, more datasets have been investigated and more journalists added to the project.

Our aim is to allow the public to see inside the offshore world in a way that has never before been possible. Perhaps most surprising is that much of what we will be revealing over the next few months is perfectly legal.

The extreme secrecy offered by tax havens also facilitates the use of anonymous entities to commit crimes, evade taxes, hide assets from creditors and avoid regulations. This secrecy can ultimately undermine democracy by granting a certain class of individuals the ability to play by a different set of rules.

One of the main investigative tools we are using – and which was donated to us free-of-charge – is specialist software from the Australian-based company NUIX, which allows for the processing, managing and searching of large volumes of unstructured data.

The initial reporting on this project was based on 2.5 million secret files related to 10 offshore centers. The files contain detail on more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents, in more than 170 countries. Since then, the project has grown to also include additional leaked datasets revealing further details about offshore holdings.

The Team 

ICIJ Director: Gerard Ryle

ICIJ Deputy Director: Marina Walker Guevara

ICIJ Senior Editor: Michael Hudson

ICIJ Digital EditorKimberley Porteous

ICIJ Data Editor: David Donald

Nicky Hager (Assistant Project Manager), Mar Cabra (Data Research Manager), Duncan Campbell (Data Journalism Manager),  Stefan Candea (Assistant Project Manager), Tom Stites (Contributing Editor), Kat Aaron (Contributing Editor), Peter Newbatt Smith (Fact Checker).

Reporters

  • Kristine Aghalaryan (Armenia)
  • Roman Anin (Russia)
  • Iqbal Athas (Sri Lanka)
  • Edik Baghdasaryan (Armenia)
  • James Ball (UK)
  • David Bergman (Bangladesh)
  • Linton Besser (Australia)
  • Beata Biel (Poland)
  • Anders Billing (Sweden)
  • Tamás Bodoky (Hungary)
  • Catherine Boss (Switzerland)
  • Joop Bouma (Netherlands)
  • Stefaans Brümmer (South Africa)
  • Simon Carswell (Ireland)
  • Matthew Caruana Galizia (Costa Rica)
  • Rigoberto Carvajal (Costa Rica)
  • Harvey Cashore (Canada)
  • Yishan Chen (Taiwan)
  • Wong Teck Chi (Malaysia)
  • Manson Chum (Hong Kong)
  • Jennifer Cooke (Australia)
  • Ross Coulthart (Australia)
  • Vitalie Călugăreanu (Moldova)
  • Prangtip Daorueng (Thailand)
  • Emilia Díaz-Struck (Venezuela)
  • Lionel Faull (South Africa)
  • Matthew Fowler (UK)
  • Harold Frayman (UK)
  • Steven Gan (Malaysia)
  • Arta Ģiga (Latvia)
  • Akaki Gogichaishvili (Georgia)
  • Ola Haram (Norway)
  • Scott Higham (USA)
  • Carlos Hernanz (Spain)
  • Leif Holmkvist (Sweden)
  • Carlos Eduardo Huertas (Colombia)
  • Karol Ilagan (Philippines)
  • Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan)
  • Harry Karanikas (Greece)
  • Yong-Jin Kim (South Korea)
  • Kuer Ser Kuang Keng (Malaysia)
  • Minna Knus-Galán (Finland)
  • Søren Kristensen (Denmark)
  • Vera-Lynn Kubinec (Canada)
  • Kurt Kuch (Austria)
  • Alain Lallemand (Belgium)
  • Roel Landingin (Philippines)
  • Aamir Latif (Pakistan)
  • Fredrik Laurin (Sweden)
  • Vlad Lavrov (Ukraine)
  • Dumitru Lazur (Moldova)
  • Yoojung Lee (South Korea)
  • David Leigh (UK)
  • Sasa Lekovic (Croatia)
  • Simon Lewis (Cambodia)
  • Hans Leyendeker (Germany)
  • Vivian Lu (Hong Kong)
  • Kate McClymont (Australia)
  • Craig McKune (South Africa)
  • Yossi Melman (Israel)
  • Emily Menkes (New Zealand)
  • Anne Michel (France)
  • Adrian Mogos (Romania)
  • Musikilu Mojeed (Nigeria)
  • Sebastian Mondial (Germany)
  • Frederik Obermaier (Germany)
  • Bastian Obermayer (Germany)
  • Toshihiro Okuyama (Japan)
  • Alexa Olesen (US)
  • James Oliver (UK)
  • Sorin Ozon (Romania)
  • Djordje Padejski (Serbia)
  • Miranda Patrucić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Micael Pereira (Portugal)
  • Andras Petho (Hungary)
  • François Pilet (Switzerland)
  • Titus Plattner (Switzerland)
  • Altin Raxhimi (Albania)
  • Aidila Razak (Malaysia)
  • Mabel Rehnfeldt (Paraguay)
  • Nicole Reinert (Canada)
  • Pilar Rodríguez (Chile)
  • Martijn Roessingh (Netherlands)
  • Iván Ruiz (Argentina)
  • Ritu Sarin (India)
  • Giannina Segnini (Costa Rica)
  • Craig Shaw (UK)
  • Roman Shleynov (Russia)
  • Alex Shprintsen (Canada)
  • Leo Sisti (Italy)
  • Francisca Skoknic (Chile)
  • Sam Smyth (Ireland)
  • Marcelo Soares (Brazil)
  • Sam Sole (South Africa)
  • Julia Stein (Germany)
  • Toshio Tada (Japan)
  • Jonathan Ungoed Thomas (UK)
  • Arturo Torres (Ecuador)
  • Stanimir Vaglenov (Bulgaria)
  • Joseph Wat (Hong Kong)
  • Rune Ytreberg (Norway)
  • Frédéric Zalac (Canada)
  • Blaž Zgaga (Slovenia)
  • Avni Zogiani (Kosovo)
     

Media Partners
 

Read the e-book

View ICIJ’s “Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze” investigation in PDF format, or for the best reading experience, save and open the e-book within a PDF viewer on your media tablet, e-reader or personal computer. For Apple iPad owners we recommend opening the e-book in the iBooks or Goodreader apps.

Read more
Inside Secrecy for Sale
Interactive: We Reveal Who’s Buying Up Britain
February 6, 2013 — Properties being bought through the use of tax loopholes and the secrecy offered by the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Click on the…
Inside Secrecy for Sale
Inside the shell: Drugs, arms and tax scams
February 7, 2013 — Arms deals between North Korea and Iran, money-laundering by Mexican drug lords, and Russia’s largest tax fraud: the common element is a 68-year-old Queensland businessman, Geoffrey Taylor.
Inside Secrecy for Sale
Taxmen Have Little Clue of Offshore Companies Owned by Greeks
April 1, 2013 — Officials say they will check ICIJ’s data for any evidence of misconduct by owners of offshore companies.