Do you like to research? Here is a tool for “fun”, you will love, “opensanctions”. – The Informant.

Do you like to research? Here is a tool for “fun” you will love: opensanctions.

Published on 24.6.2022

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

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

Examples below:

Ursula von der Leyen


good research

It is thus easy to:

✓ Cross-check databases to detect conflicts of interest and signs of illicit activity.
✓ Screen potential customers and partners in international transactions.
✓ Track political conflicts and compare sanctions policies globally.
✓ Integrate due diligence data into existing data products.

The reasoning

Collecting data on persons of interest is a labor-intensive process: data users must extract data from dozens of sources, then analyze partial and sometimes incorrect information on nationalities, dates of birth and identifiers. Deduplicating entries common to many data sources is another time challenge.

This creates unnecessary and redundant work for all users of POI data, be they fintech/regtech technologists, investigative journalists, academics or others.

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

The team

The development ofOpenSanctions 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 view the list of people who contributed to the crawlers on Github.

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


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

Link to OpenSanctions

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