About this project

OpenSanctions is an international database of persons and companies of political, criminal, or economic interest.

The project combines the most relevant sanctions lists, databases of politically exposed persons, and other information about persons in the public interest into a single, easy-to-use dataset. The data and the code used to make it are distributed for free.

This makes it easy to:

  • Cross-check databases for conflicts of interests and signs of illicit activity.
  • Screen potential customers and partners in international dealings.
  • Track political conflicts and compare world-wide sanctions policies.
  • Integrate due diligence data into existing data products.

The rationale

Collecting persons of interest data is a labour intensive process: data users need to scrape data from dozens of sources, then parse partial and sometimes incorrect information about nationalities, birth dates and identifiers. De-duplicating common entries across many data sources poses another time-consuming challenge.

This creates unnecessary and duplicative work for all users of persons-of-interest data, whether they are fintech/regtech technologists, investigative journalists, academics or others.

We believe that the solution to this is to establish a data commons, an open resource that provides high-quality, up-to-date data, is open to contributions and feedback and set up to provide a long-term solution for data sourcing.

Team

The development of OpenSanctions is coordinated by Friedrich Lindenberg. From 2017 to 2019, maintenance of the crawlers was assumed by Tarashish Mishra at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. You can see a list of those who have contributed crawlers on Github.

We'd also like to thank Marc da Costa, Paul May and Tony Bowden for their tireless advice on the project.

Funding

This project has received financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) under the grant identifier 01IS21S48. The full responsibility for the content of this publication remains with its authors.