Swazi Secrets

Explore the intricate web of power and deceit in eSwatini

About the Swazi Secrets investigation

Swazi Secrets uncovers the murky underbelly of Africa’s last absolute monarchy, where political power and wealth are wielded by King Mswati III and a royal coterie of con artists. Through a groundbreaking cross-border investigation, 38 journalists from 11 countries expose the vulnerability of Swaziland’s financial institutions. With 890,000 internal records from the Eswatini Financial Intelligence Unit (EFIU), the Swazi Secrets leak reveals the alarming ease with which politicians and corporations exploit these systems. The implications extend far beyond Swaziland’s borders, illustrating how financial institutions can be manipulated to fuel money laundering and organized crime across Southern Africa.

Open Secrets’ 3-part series of articles in the Swazi Secrets series is published in the Business Day and Financial Mail. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) coordinated the team of journalists which includes, amaBhungane, Al Jazeera, Finance Uncovered, ICIJ, Jeune Afrique / The Africa Report, Open Secrets, MakanDay / Zambia Center for Investigative Journalism and Premium Times in Nigeria.

Read the series

This leak is the largest of its kind from a financial intelligence unit in an African country. The documents include bank records, police investigation reports, court affidavits and transcripts, and confidential exchanges between government agencies within southern Africa. The records also include details about banks around the world that have facilitated financial transactions for people and companies suspected of criminal activity.

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