07 December 2023

BIC head Stanislau Ivashkevich received Anti-Corruption Champion Award from U.S. State Department

This year, the Belarusian Investigative Center has released about two dozen investigations.

The Anti-Corruption Champions Award (ACCA) was presented to Stanislau Ivashkevich, head of the Belarusian Investigative Centre. It is awarded to activists and journalists for their contribution to the fight against corruption.

The award ceremony was held on 7 December at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that the award to Stanislau Ivashkevich is given “for his unwavering commitment to fighting corruption and bolstering the impact of sanctions against Russia and Belarus”.

“As is often the case, only one of us is singled out in the award, but it acknowledges the greatness of every single member of the BIC team. We do not work to win awards, but it’s worth noting that every one of us at BIC is making a difference in the world through our daily work”, Stanislau Ivashkevich emphasised after the ceremony.

This year, the Belarusian Investigative Center has released about two dozen investigations that uncover corrupt activities and methods to sidestep sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States. These schemes benefit the family of Aleksandr Lukashenko and his associates financially. In 2023, the BIC revealed the misuse of over $3 billion in such schemes.

Examples include the following:

Anatoly Ternavskiy, Lukashenko's biggest "oil wallet", has avoided naming himself even in his own companies' documentation, which has helped him evade sanctions for years;

Aleksandr Lukashenko and his associates assist in moving children from Ukraine's occupied territories: the children first travel to Russia, and some eventually arrive in Belarus;

Russia caused a second wave of the migration crisis on the border between Belarus and the EU. Travel agencies, with the support of Belarusian law enforcement, profited from the migrants; 

Some private and state enterprises, despite the EU sanctions, continue to sell Belarusian timber to the EU. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are helping Belarus to circumvent the embargo;

Lukashenko caused an artificial deficit of EU goods on the Belarusian market by implementing his "countersanctions" decree. His friend, businessman Siarhei Tsiatseryn, imports certain goods bypassing sanctions and sells them to Belarusians at a higher price.

Partly as a result of the BIC investigations, on 5 December the US Treasury Department added Amkodor’s owner, businessman Aliaksandr Shakutsin, to its sanctions list.

ACCA was established by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in February 2021. This year’s award was presented to 11 winners, including those from India, Kyrgyzstan and Montenegro. ACCA has been awarded to 43 people since its inception.

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