OCCRP — Organisation behind 'Dubai Unlocked' exposé

Organisation's mission is to "expose crime and corruption so the public can hold power to account"

News Desk
A logo of the OCCRP as seen displayed on a laptop. — Image made via Canva

KARACHI: As the 'Dubai Unlocked' investigation took the world by storm, the organisation behind the exposé, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), is receiving immense attention and curiosity about their operations.

The OCCRP is a non-profit concern with staff scattered across six continents and hubs in Washington, DC, Amsterdam and Sarajevo.

The organisation terms itself one of the "largest investigative journalism organisations in the world" and is a newsroom that partners with other media organisations for stories and investigative projects.

Founded by veteran investigative reporters Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu in 2007, the organisation claims its mission is "to spread and strengthen investigative journalism around the world and expose crime and corruption so the public can hold power to account."

The OCCRP's work is supported via public and private funding from institutions and individual supporters.

Some of the funding channels mentioned on the OCRRP website are Ford Foundation, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Open Society Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, the US Department of State, and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

OCCRP is behind the explosive exposé about properties owned by the global elite in Dubai, which includes political figures, globally sanctioned individuals, alleged money launderers and criminals.

Pakistanis have also been identified on the list and their combined value has been estimated at around $11 billion.

The project — ‘Dubai Unlocked’ — is based on data that provides a detailed overview of hundreds of thousands of properties in Dubai and information about their ownership or usage, largely from 2020 and 2022.

Properties purchased in the name of companies and those that are in commercial areas are not part of this analysis.

The data was obtained by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC. It was then shared with Norwegian financial outlet E24 and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which coordinated a six-month investigative project with reporters from 74 media outlets in 58 countries, uncovering scores of convicted criminals, fugitives, and political figures who have recently owned at least one piece of real estate in Dubai.

The News and Dawn were partners from Pakistan.