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OCCRP Organisation Responsible For ‘Dubai Unlocked’ exposé

The ‘Dubai Unlocked’ investigation, spearheaded by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), has captured global attention, sparking curiosity about the organization’s operations.

OCCRP, a non-profit entity with personnel dispersed across six continents and headquarters in Washington, DC, Amsterdam, and Sarajevo, bills itself as one of the “largest investigative journalism organizations globally.” It collaborates with various media outlets for investigative projects and stories.

Established in 2007 by veteran investigative journalists Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu, OCCRP’s stated mission is to promote and fortify investigative journalism worldwide, aiming to expose crime and corruption to empower the public in holding those in power accountable.

The organization’s funding is sourced from both public and private entities, including institutions and individual supporters. Notable funders listed on OCCRP’s website include the 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’s latest exposé focuses on properties owned by prominent global figures in Dubai, encompassing political figures, globally sanctioned individuals, alleged money launderers, and criminals. Pakistani individuals have also been identified in the investigation, with their collective assets estimated at approximately $11 billion.

The ‘Dubai Unlocked’ project relies on data offering a comprehensive overview of hundreds of thousands of properties in Dubai, detailing ownership or usage, predominantly from 2020 to 2022. Properties registered under company names and those situated in commercial areas are excluded from the analysis.

The data was initially acquired by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. It was subsequently shared with Norwegian financial outlet E24 and OCCRP, which led a six-month investigative endeavor involving reporters from 74 media outlets across 58 countries. Their efforts revealed numerous convicted criminals, fugitives, and political figures who have recently owned real estate in Dubai.

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