The Press Start Network

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Tag Archive : Black Market Arms

Mihai Munteanu

Mihai was 24 years old when he became a journalist – four years before Romania joined the EU. There were times when corruption was flourishing and Romanian citizens saw the injustice but felt powerless. A fresh graduate of journalism school, he had a keen eye for wrongdoing and a passion for exposing it. In just three years, he became chief of the investigations department of one of the most important newspapers of that period. Since 2012 he has been editor at the RISE Project Romania.

Reporting focus

cross-border investigations and organized crime

Previous publications

  • “Magnitsky Stories.” This investigation exposed the transnational money laundering trail from the $230 million theft uncovered by the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky (killed in prison)
  • “Killers Inc.,” a two-year, multi-country investigation examining a violent feud between businessmen connected to the Kremlin, and the criminal groups and assassins-for-hire tasked with settling their scores.
  • “Black Market Arms” for the War in Ukraine. The story of how reporters from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) bought arms from one of the most powerful criminal groups in Moldova. Current position
  • Editor RISE Project Romania

Media outlets I’ve been writing for

  • RISE Project Romania (
  • RISE Project Moldova (
  • Organised Crime and Corruption Project (


  • Daniel Pearl Award 2011 for the investigation “Offshore Crime, Inc.”
  • European Press Prize 2015, for the investigation “The Russian Laundromat”
  • The Sergei Magnitsky Human Right Award 2015, for the investigation “The Magnitsky Stories”
  • Editor of the year at Superscrieri Awards 2017, for the series of investigations about Liviu Dragnea, the president of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD)

Campaign on Press Start:

The Soviet Cocaine Union

Award-winning journalists from Romania and Bulgaria present the dynamics of two international drug trafficking networks in the post-Soviet space, how these networks join forces to supply South American cocaine to the European market, and how they corrupt local authorities. Our team corroborated information hidden in thousands of pages of archives from official cross-border investigations, which were classified and suddenly buried, without explanation. Welcome to the White Wild East.