The award was presented for a report by the OCCRP on Offshore Crime, Inc. for which Armao served as project editor. The report detailed how Eastern European criminals and corrupt politicians are using offshore havens as fronts for money laundering, tax evasion, and drug and weapons smuggling. A global network of reporters, posing as businessmen looking to evade taxes worked undercover for six months to infiltrate offshore tax havens in the state of Delaware, the Cayman Islands, Seychelles, New Zealand, Romania, and Ukraine. A coordinated team of reporters from across Eastern Europe researched the report.
Rosemary Armao and her reporting team are winners of the 2011 Daniel Pearl Award.
Offshore Crime, Inc. was selected as the top project out of 70 entries from 30 countries with finalists including Bloomberg Markets Magazine, The New Yorker, ABC News, Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), and a consortium of NPR, Radio Canada/CBC, and Swiss TV TSI. Award entry topics ranged from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control’s handling of the swine flu and H1N1 flu pandemic, to the world of human trafficking and sex slavery in Eastern Europe. The seven finalists represented some of the world’s best investigative reporting and included stories from Afghanistan and Iraq, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States.
Formerly the ICIJ Award, the Daniel Pearl Award was renamed in 2008 in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by Pakistani militants in 2002.
Rosemary Armao, a native of Albany, joined the faculty of the UAlbany journalism program in 2008. For more than 32 years she was a reporter and editor at various wire services and newspapers. She has trained journalists and worked on media development projects throughout Eastern Europe and Africa. She is a former executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors and former president of the Journalism and Women Symposium.