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Find the bankruptcy rider

At the annual SKUP conference, we can share the rawness of our methods even if we are competing for the issues


There is a widespread sharing culture among grave journalists. We ask each other for help, and we share tips and tricks with each other, usually free of charge. This sharing culture is most clearly expressed through the annual SKUP conference, organized by the Foundation for a critical investigative press. We believe we can share the rawness of our methods even if we are competing for the cause.
After one of these conferences, a team from Sweden Television (SVT) contacted and asked for help. They wanted the phone number of a Norwegian who was not in the telephone directory. It was a guy from Lillesand who had been through one of his numerous bankruptcies, this time with a low cost airline in which a lot of small savers in Sweden and in Iceland had invested big money.
The film team had created an exciting program where they showed how the bankruptcy rider's valuable properties in Sweden were sold at forced auction by Kronofogden. Some claimed that these were bought back by strawmen for the Norwegian. There were interviews with a number of actors, and the film was almost finished. But it could not be broadcast until the man had the opportunity to simultaneously contend with the allegations against him. They simply had to get hold of him. One cannot publish concrete and serious allegations without giving a person the opportunity to defend himself.

It is often Do not hurt the will of the press which makes it difficult to get hold of people involved in bankruptcy. In such a situation, there can often be creditors who are bogus. But our challenge is: How to find a person who does not want to be in the telephone directory? If he or she does not live at a protected address, as some vulnerable women and children do, we have good opportunities. People who are entitled to protection cannot be found in the way I describe here.
We call this approach to data searches the "two-step method". It is simply a digital version of the exercise journalists have always engaged in, namely asking what is a good source for a particular purpose. First we will find the right source, then we will ask our question. It provides better answers than asking directly on Google or another search engine. We often use the search engines to search for a database or searchable registry.
In this case, we need a place that has a lot of phone numbers that are not necessarily registered on or In this case, I used a method that can be applied to most people in the financial world, but also to most artists, musicians and actors. All of these occupational groups have in common that the practitioners often run one or more companies. Namely, all companies must register their contact information in the Brønnøysund Register. These archives also retain information on closed companies.
You can simply use the business directory as an alternative telephone directory!
"Purehelp" is a free service that facilitates information from the Brønnøysund Register Center in a simple way. If you have the name of the person but not the company name, select "role search". If you get more business names here, you choose what looks most like a private company, preferably a single person company or a personal owned AS. You can also search directly in the registers, where you can also download accounts and annual reports and find a lot of exciting additional information.
SVT got hold of the man they were looking for. The Brønnøysund registries had taken care of all the telephone numbers registered at the now closed companies, and some of them still worked.
Try it too!
Easy to use:
More complicated, but also contains more information:

PS: A vigilant reader reacted quickly to a geographical error in the previous column "Bildesjekken", and pointed out that the ship in question with 20 Albanians on its way to Italy hardly left from Tirana, which lacks a port and has only a narrow river through the city. That person is absolutely right. It was said that the ship left "from Durrës west of Tirana".

Tarjei Leer-Salvesen is a freelance investigative journalist, with a background from Ny Tid as well as Klassekampen, Fædrelandsvennen, Dagbladet and NRK Brennpunkt.
He is also behind the web portal

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