ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- TRACE, the internationally recognized anti-bribery organization, yesterday announced The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and freelance journalist, Dorothee Myriam Kellou, as the recipients of its 2017 Prize for Investigative Reporting. The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
The ICIJ was awarded for their groundbreaking investigation, The Panama Papers. "We are thrilled that the TRACE Prize this year recognizes the work of 376 reporters in 80 countries who courageously participated in the Panama Papers investigation, many of them at great personal risk," said Marina Walker Guevara, deputy director of the ICIJ. "Their reporting pierced the secrecy of tax havens and uncovered the many faces of corruption around the world – from bribery to money laundering to industrial-scale tax avoidance and evasion. By working together as one team, their reporting triggered change at a global level, including high-level resignations, law changes and public outcry."
The judges said, "In one of the most remarkable collaborations in modern journalism history, these illuminating projects tackled one of the most difficult topics the media faces — the hidden links and secret wealth of the world's most powerful people — and produced fascinating tales with worldwide impact."
Dorothee Myriam Kellou, freelance journalist, was recognized for her investigation published in Le Monde and as a video on France 24, into French cement giant Lafarge's operations in Syria, including payoffs to armed groups and indications of covert dealings with Islamic State (ISIS). Dorothee said, "It is an honor to be a recipient of 2017 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting. Documenting multinationals' corporate corruption practices — especially in war zones — is an uneasy but necessary task. It helps to hold multinationals accountable in the context of weak anti-bribery laws and fragile enforcement — and reasserts, as TRACE does, that multinational companies should not sacrifice the rule of law in the pursuit of profit worldwide."
The judges said, "This powerful project captured, with nuance and intelligence, the moral crisis that faces businesses caught in the desperate situation in Syria, and by extension, every war-torn region."
Honorable mentions were awarded to Elias Mambo of The Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper, for an investigation chronicling how Zimbabwe's government circumvented tender procedures to corruptly award a power energy deal to a company that had not submitted its bid, and to Michael Kavanagh, Thomas Wilson and Franz Wild, reporters at Bloomberg, awarded for their work entitled "Congo's Secret Web of Power" exploring the network of businesses built up by President Joseph Kabila and his relatives that reach into every corner of the Congo's economy.
"We at TRACE are proud to continue supporting journalists worldwide in their efforts to unmask corruption and thereby increase commercial transparency," said TRACE President Alexandra Wrage. "The TRACE Prize recognizes the complex and often dangerous work being done by these reporters."
The TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting is one of many initiatives run by the TRACE Foundation in support of its mission of increasing commercial transparency worldwide. The 2018 Prize for Investigative Reporting will open in the autumn of 2017. For more information, visit www.traceinternational.org/investigative-reporting.
TRACE International, Inc. is a globally recognized anti-bribery business organization and leading provider of third party risk management solutions. Members and clients include hundreds of multinational companies headquartered in the U.S. and worldwide. For more information, visit www.TRACEinternational.org.
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