Weekly newsletter delving into the secret worlds of money and power.

Whale Hunting
Soobin Kim
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Mapping Networks of Money and Power

Over three decades ago, an international bank called BCCI was shut down by regulators. BCCI had been bankrolling the criminal activities of fraudsters and dictators, as well as CIA operations abroad. The collapse of BCCI became the obsession of a struggling artist named Mark Lombardi who was moonlighting as a

Tom Wright
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End of the Road for Najib

Ok, so we're going out on a limb here and saying it: former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is likely going to jail for his role in the Billion Dollar Whale scandal (Najib and Jho Low, a businessman, oversaw the pilfering of billions of dollars from Malaysian fund 1MDB and

Bradley Hope
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Kabul Falling

For the past six months, the team at Project Brazen have been working on a kaleidoscopic exploration of last year's events in Afghanistan. The footage of desperate Afghans clinging to the sides of cargo airplanes seems eons ago now, but the stories of escape and the Taliban's return to power

Alex Finley
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The Agony of the Superyacht Crew Member

“Should we be resigning from all Russian yachts?” This question was posed by an anonymous participant in an Instagram Q&A hosted in March by Nautilus International, a union for mariners, as the United Kingdom, European Union, and United States began sanctioning Russian oligarchs and setting out to freeze their

Soobin Kim
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RICH LIST: All the Ships in the World

By now we’ve all heard about the ballooning wealth of America’s garden variety billionaires. But further down the rich list, quietly climbing the rankings is Gianluigi Aponte, an Italian shipping magnate whose fortune at least doubled during the pandemic. Aponte represents a hidden class of the ultra-rich whose

Bradley Hope
Members Public

Do We Really Need Another Yacht?

Looming over some of the great scandals of recent years is a man who loves big yachts. Surprised? No, I didn't think so. The man I'm referring to is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, a princeling once seen as on an upward trajectory as the "businessman sheikh" of Abu

Tom Wright
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CRAFT: Covering China

David Barboza won a Pulitzer in 2013 while at the New York Times for his coverage of the shadowy wealth around former Premier Wen Jiabao. We've spoken to David before in Whale Hunting about President Xi Jinping's wealth. David also makes an appearance in Red Roulette, the blockbuster book about

Soobin Kim
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Empire of Ink

On paper, you don't really need to know about a company called SICPA. Even the name is a bit of a turn-off. Ink? Who cares? But SICPA is actually a very powerful and secretive company with tentacles across the world. That ink? It's a special type called optically variable ink,

Bradley Hope
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CRAFT: Shaking a Tail

If you watched the pilot from our new docuseries HIDDEN WORLDS, you'll remember "Oscar Zero," the former government surveillance specialist who ran the operation to follow me across London. I first met her years ago when we went on a walking tour of London and she showed me  how private

Bradley Hope
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Peek Inside 'Hidden Worlds'

We have a special treat for subscribers today: early access to Hidden Worlds, a documentary series we're developing. Here's the back story: When I was at the Wall Street Journal reporting on international financial crime and business intrigue, I ran afoul of a few deep-pocketed bad guys who hired private

Bradley Hope
Members Public

Where in the world is Jan Marsalek?

It's rare but every now and then a financial villain pops up that's stranger than fiction. They're almost too bad to be true. In other words, they're everything you hope for in cracking open a new book about a fraud or a heist. This week, we finally got the story

Tom Wright
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CRAFT: Secrets of a Navy SEAL

This week, our CRAFT is with Mike M, a 25-year military veteran and U. S. Navy SEAL who was deployed ten times in Iraq and Afghanistan over two decades (possibly more than any other veteran). Mike has spent a lifetime learning how to build teams that can survive the harshest