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The FinCEN Files: Czech Republic

The FinCEN Files: Czech Republic

Despite Red Flags, Banks Kept Moving Money for Company Involved in Huge Bitcoin Scandal Russian businessman Sergei Mayzus has spent the past three years on his estates in the Czech countryside breeding livestock, brewing beer, and trying to reestablish his reputation after becoming embroiled in one of the biggest scandals in cryptocurrency history. His company, MoneyPolo, is a popular online money transfer service that was often used to move funds in and out of Bitcoin exchange platform BTC-e, which collapsed in 2017 after U.S. prosecutors indicted it as a major vehicle for laundering illicit money. But data from the FinCEN...

Powerful Slovak Businessman Cleared of Murdering Journalist

Powerful Slovak Businessman Cleared of Murdering Journalist

An ex-soldier has been sent to prison for murdering Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, but a notorious businessman accused of masterminding the killings was cleared in a shock outcome to a case that has reshaped the country’s political landscape. Tomas Szabó was sentenced to 25 years in a maximum-security facility for the killings of Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, who were shot dead in their home east of Bratislava in February 2018 both aged 27. But Marian Kočner, once one of the most powerful people in the country, and his former lover were both cleared of ordering the killings...

Statement of investigace.cz: We protect our sources

Statement of investigace.cz: We protect our sources

At the end of October, the Czech Centre of Investigative Journalism published a recording originating from the private office of Slovakia’s former chief prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka. This recording proves that Trnka maintained a close relationship with alleged murderer Marián Kočner. Under threat of a €10 million fine, the Slovak Bureau for the Protection of Personal Data requested that Investigace.cz disclose the identity of our source. The following is our statement responding to the Bureau’s request. Today we received an official request from the Slovak Bureau for the Protection of Personal Data. They want to know who provided us with the...

21st February a Year Later

21st February a Year Later

More than a year after a special prosecutor in Slovakia charged Marian Kočner with ordering murders of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fianceé Martina Kušnírová. Kočner threatened Kuciak months before the murder. Despite Kuciak´s request, the police did not react. According the special prosecutor, the official motive of Kočner was Kuciak´s investigative reporting. Read the whole story how the newsroom and Slovak society has changed since the day of the murder. I am walking through the Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava, where the Public Against Violence monument is situated. The well-known V-shaped symbol is surrounded by several photos of...

Eastern Kinderguardians

Eastern Kinderguardians

Children marching in raincoats with gas masks over their faces. It is a memory that comes to the minds of people who went to school in the Czech Republic before 1989. After the Soviet Union break-up, the picture of national defence education disappeared from the life of schools, just as compulsory Russian classes. The memory came back to life in 2012. The Czech Ministry of Defence came up with a new idea. A report on the nation’s preparedness to defend the country mentions a major problem: “the issue of preparing people to defend the country is not sufficiently highlighted in the curricula of...

Uniform for a Patriot

Uniform for a Patriot

School celebrations, patriotic marches and national holidays. All accompanied by ever-present weapons and green uniforms. In countries of the Central Europe patriotism increasingly means militarism, and civil values are being displaced by the cult of weapons and combat. Nobody controls this movement. VSquare special report shows, that states are supporting amateur militarists on an unprecedented scale.  Two or three years of compulsory military service for everyone. School exercises where teens have to shoot, crawl wearing gas masks and dress fake shrapnel wounds. In cinemas, war shown as an adventure. This is what the governments of Warsaw Pact states did to...