French newspaper Le Monde managed to scrape the Luxembourg companies registry’s website and obtain 3.3 million documents, covering over 140,000 companies based in Luxembourg. It then shared them with OCCRP and other reporting partners across the globe, including Revista Piaui, in Brazil, allowing us to dig deeper into the people actually benefiting from these firms. We’ve found 300 companies owned by Brazilian people and some of them were not disclosed to the government authorities. That is the case of mother of a famous politician (former governor and presidential candidate) has a company there and didn’t tell the Brazilian authorities about
Prosecutors said the investigations against the politician, how a congressman should be reopened because of the story’s findings. We’ve also found that a lawyer who works closely to president Jair Bolsonaro had a company in Luxembourg and he admitted it was not declared to brazilian authorities.
Webscraping, Python, SQL, Google Spreadsheets, FOIA requests
What was the hardest part of this project?
We needed to understand the importance of having a hidden in Luxembourg and how it connects to people’s past, like current or past investigations, their assets, etc.
What can others learn from this project?
Collaborative journalism is the key for some of the most important journalistic findings.