Reporters Use New Manual to Link Organized Crime With Soccer in Europe

Apr 142009
  • The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project used Knight Fellow Paul Radu's manual to obtain corporate records that led them to links between organized crime and soccer. The stories that came out of the investigation can be found on their website.

Paul Cristian Radu did not expect a global response to his new investigative journalism guide, “Follow the Money – A Digital Guide to Tracking Corruption.” Radu, a Knight International Journalism Fellow, introduced the manual at the European Investigative Conference in Brussels in November 2008.

He was not surprised that the guide resonated in Eastern Europe, where he is training reporters in investigative journalism techniques during his Fellowship. The guide, which is also posted on reportingproject.net, was used by the journalists in the Balkan investigative network in an international probe that stretched from Romania to France to Brazil.

Radu says reporters at The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project used the manual to obtain corporate records that led them to links between organized crime and soccer. The Reporting Project is a joint program of investigative reporting centers and reporters across the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The goal: to help the people in the region understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.

Radu said reporters used his manual and database to uncover illegal activity such as tax evasion and money laundering by soccer associations that spans the globe. In response, law enforcement officials in Romania launched their own investigation and requested assistance from their French counterparts.

“This shows the power of journalism and the power it gives to law enforcement,” Radu said.

He said there are other investigative projects are underway that are utilizing his handbook.