TRACE announces winners of 2019 Prize for Investigative Reporting: Stories uncover wartime corruption and bribery in oil sales

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The TRACE Foundation, a non-profit organization established by TRACE to support projects that encourage greater commercial transparency, last night announced the winners of the 2019 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting at an award ceremony in Vancouver. The annual award recognizes journalism that uncovers business bribery or related financial crime.

A five-person team from Africa Uncensored received the TRACE Prize for their investigation The Profiteers, which uncovered wartime corruption in East Africa. The team included John-Allan Namu, Elijah Kanyi, Samuel Munia, Steve Biko and Clement Kumalija.

"We are very humbled to have won, and to be in the company of this year's other winners and those who have won before us," Africa Uncensored co-founder John-Allan Namu said. "We hope that our story can help bring the world's attention to what continues to happen in South Sudan, if only for there to be some respite for the people of South Sudan from the crimes of their elite. We are also very excited to be one of the first two African teams to have won this award."

The other winning team, Khadija Sharife from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Philippe Engels, freelance, exposed bribery in oil sales in their investigation "The Unlikely Partnership that Unlocked Congo's Crude." The story was published by both OCCRP and Médor in English and French, respectively.

"Being a journalist is a delusion and a privilege: We claim the right to question and confront what is told to us as fact but does not ring true; that this truth, if we find it, be placed on record and the record itself, a demand for accountability," OCCRP Africa Editor Khadija Sharife said. "But if not, so the delusion goes, we can make life a little bit harder, make them run a little bit faster and make their protectors--those holding power in high places--very, very uncomfortable."

Honorable mentions were awarded to Aruna Chandrasekhar for her project "Rs 7,410-crore question", an investigation into an Indian power company's close ties to the ruling party in Delhi; and the 14-person OCCRP team behind "Tajikistan: Money by Marriage": Miranda Patrucic, Ilya Lozovsky, Drew Sullivan, Maxim Edwards, Vlad Lavrov, Ilya Lozovsky, Olga Gein, Bermet Talant, Irene Velska, Katarina Sabados, Sinead Carolan, Eleanor Rose, Lejla Sarcevic and Lejla Camdzic.

"The work of these incredibly brave and talented journalists is critical to exposing corruption at all levels and driving change and good governance," TRACE President Alexandra Wrage said. "The compliance community is grateful to them for their efforts, and to all the investigative journalists who work to uncover corruption."

The judging panel for the 2019 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting included William Gumede, Diana B. Henriques, Rosebell Kagumire, Peter Klein, Donatella Lorch and Jorge Luis Sierra.

The 2020 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting will begin accepting submissions in the fall of 2019. For more details, visit

About the TRACE Foundation

The TRACE Foundation was established to promote, support and fund research, investigative journalism, publications, videos and related projects that encourage greater commercial transparency and advance anti-bribery education. For more information, visit

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