Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "illegal trade" ...

  • Most trafficked mammal

    The pangolin -- a little-known, scale-covered mammal -- is thought by scientists to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. Conservationists fear it could go extinct before most people realize it exists. To try to ensure that doesn’t happen, CNN’s John Sutter traveled, at times undercover, to Vietnam and Indonesia to introduce readers and viewers to this loveably introverted creature, and to expose the massive, illegal trade in its meat and scales. Traveling alone, and at times using hidden cameras and recording devices, Sutter met with wildlife traffickers and pangolin in Sumatra, Indonesia. He followed undercover wildlife cops in Hanoi, Vietnam, to a number of restaurants and markets that deal in pangolin products. This work exposed the ease with which pangolin traders are able to operate in these countries, in part because the pangolin has maintained a lower profile than rhinos and elephants. It also helped explain the rise in demand for pangolin scales and meat in Southeast Asia. Sutter’s work also humanized and popularized the pangolin, a creature he described as “elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated and barely understood.”
  • The Dolphin Trade

    Primetime tracked the illegal trade of captured wild dophins around the world. Wild dolphins are captured and sold to "swim with the dolphins" parks in resort areas. The story ranged from Japan to Haiti to the Solomon Islands and included exclusive interviews and tense confrontations with dolphin captors and smugglers.
  • Gunrunners

    This 8-minute radio report was part of year-long investigation into the illegal global small arms trade. The investigation details several illegal arms shipments from organized crime groups in eastern Europe to rebel forces fighting for diamonds in Africa. The report focused on thew supplier-side of the illegal gunrunning to soldiers in Sierra Leona and its neighbors.
  • Animal Smugglers

    MSNBC, in a joined effort with BBC, details the work of Operation Chameleon designed to catch animal traffickers and smugglers internationally. The report looks at the illegal network of Anson Wong from Malaysia, leader of the biggest ever known animal dealing and smuggling operation. Wong is currently awaiting sentencing in a Californian prison. The production also tells the story of Paul Sullivan who "has broken laws to protect reptiles from being poached and traded to extinction." The most stunning warning is that the multi-billion-dollar illegal trade of precious reptiles around the world has brought more than 71 species on the verge of extinction, and that "we are into the greatest extinction of historical times."
  • The Hunting of the Poacher King

    Outside Magazine reports that "...The seeds of Ray Hillsman's downfall were sown by his mouth, which was big and which, for the life of him, he couldn't keep shut... Once he illustrated his tale by flashing a wad of $50 and $100 bills - profits, he claimed, from selling the gallbladders of his prey to an Asian businessman down in Eugene (Oregon.) Nobody knows for sure how many bears Hillsman and his poaching ring killed, but Oregon officials estimate that they wasted upward of 50 to 100 black bears a year for five to ten years...And for a while, nothing could stop him--not (veteran game warden Richard) Lane, not the cops, and certainly not his own conscience. Hillsman had become the poacher king."
  • (Untitled)

    There is a forgotten front in the war on drugs; the illegal trade of prescription medication. Legal Drugs/Illegal Uses examines a methadone clinic that had become the epicenter of Syracuse's illegal pill market.
  • (Untitled)

    Wall St. Journal reveals the problem of the black market sale of uranium and plutonium; finds that many countries, particularly former Communist countries, are having a hard time keeping track of their nuclear fuels and that is spurring an illegal trade in the materials, May 11, 1994.