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Zembla

ZEMBLA is a current affairs program by BNNVARA. The program provides information to a wide audience by means of opinion forming investigative journalism.

ZEMBLA carries out in-depth research into events and developments in society and contributes to public opinion on these issues.

ZEMBLA opens up the debate and produces news, it sets things in motion and brings about changes.

ZEMBLA was first screened in the autumn of 1995 and since then it has been assured of a permanent place within public broadcasting in the Netherlands.

ZEMBLA has made a program on nearly every social development and special events imaginable.

 

INTERNATIONAL AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

Prix Europa 2017: Dangerous Play

Prix Europa 2017: The dubious friends of Donald Trump

Prix Europa 2016: Roses From Ethiopia

Prix Europa 2015: The Monsanto method

Academy Award 2002 Suicide of a refugee

Academy Award 2002: Cheating with millions' ‘

Academy Award 2001: Madagaskar connection

 

ADOPTION FRAUD (PART 2 / THE SEQUEL)

To investigate the cause of so many falsified adoption and identity papers from Sri Lankan children being adopted to The Netherlands, exposed in Part 1, ZEMBLA went to Sri Lanka. Besides finding so called ‘acting mothers’, women who pretended in exchange for money to be mothers who gave their child up for adoption, ZEMBLA also confronted intermediaries of a Dutch adoption organisation with their dubious role in the adoption fraud. Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne, responsible for foreign adoptions, admitted on camera the former existence of ‘baby farms’ during the period when many children had been adopted to other countries. This is the first time the Sri Lankan government admits the existence of ‘baby farms’, immediately covered and followed up by news media from all over the world. 

 

THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP 3 parts

Although still in its early days, Donald Trump’s presidency is coming under fire. The Russians are alleged to be in possession of sensitive information about Trump. And that exposes Trump to blackmail. Fake news, tweets Trump: “I have nothing to do with Russia – no deals, no loans, no nothing!” Trump swears he has no ties with the Russians. But is that actually the case?

ZEMBLA is investigating another explosive dossier concerning Trump’s involvement with the Russians: Trump’s business and personal ties to oligarchs from the former Soviet Union. Powerful billionaires suspected of money laundering and fraud, and of having contacts in Moscow and with the mafia. What do these relationships say about Trump and why does he deny them? How compromising are these dubious business relationships for the 45th president of the United States? ZEMBLA meets with one of Trump’s controversial cronies and speaks with a former CIA agent, fraud investigators, attorneys, and an American senator among others. 

 

TRADE IN REFUGEES

Refugees in Egypt are financing their boat passage to Europe by selling a kidney. For Frederike Ambagtsheer, criminologist, who recently completed a PhD thesis at Erasmus University on the international trade in body parts, this ZEMBLA investigation provides the first evidence to confirm refugees are financing their journey by selling their organs. “What you’re showing me now is human trafficking with the intention of selling body parts on the black market,” says Ambagtsheer

 

DANGEROUS PLAY and  THE SEQUEL

American soccer trainer Amy Griffin has kept a record of players who played on artificial turf filled in with rubber granules and got cancer. She fears there may be a link between the disease and this material made of old car tires. Today there are 230 players on her list. ZEMBLA proves that the studies upon which that opinion is based are dubious. Expert scientists demonstrate that the health risks have never been studied in any reliable way. And ZEMBLA shows how the tire industry's trade associations have lobbied effectively to stop stricter European legislation.

Scientists reached the conclusion that rubber granules in fact release chemicals which may cause harmful effects in humans. Exclusively for ZEMBLA, scientists present the results of studies on zebra fish and zebra fish embryos exposed to water previously loaded with rubber granules: the embryos died, while the fish showed evidence of behavioral changes.

The broadcast, and the commotion it caused, also drew the attention of other countries. The Spanish daily El País, the Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport, and Bild in Germany wrote about it, amongst others. 

 

ROSES FROM ETHIOPIA

One of the world’s largest rose producers is located in Ethiopia. Every day, they produces between 3 and 4 million roses for the European market. The roses carry the Fairtrade label, an international certificate for fair and sustainable products. Zembla travels to Africa and investigates how ‘fairly’ the roses are produced. It turns out the rose laborers earn not enough to make ends meet. And in these times of extreme drought in Ethiopia producing the roses requires at least 2000 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water every year. 

 

POISON IN THE COCKPIT and THE SEQUEL

It is called the biggest scandal and best-kept secret of aviation: the toxic fumes that crew and passengers breathe in in air-conditioned aircraft. In Australia and the UK it has already led to parliamentary research and questions. In the meantime, more and more ill pilots worldwide are reported that they can’t fly anymore, including pilots from KLM. How safe is it in the air?

Their complaints consist of headache, paralysis and balance disorders, also known as the aero toxic syndrome. This autumn, EasyJet announces the installation of filters to prevent the toxic fumes from flowing into the aircraft. It is big news: the first airline company that recognizes that there is a problem with air quality. ZEMBLA investigates: are sick pilots and flight attendants now also compensated by EasyJet? And why do other airlines such as KLM not install filters? 

 

COMMITTING FRAUD FOR THE JIHAD

Late 2010, on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, US troops are hunting down Osama bin Laden. Near the village where the Al Qaida leader will be shot a few months later, they discover a hiding-place full of documents. A letter leads to an extensive Italian fraud network with branches all over Europe. The Italian prosecutor’s office starts an investigation. The suspects are accused of stealing over 1 billion euros of tax money by committing VAT fraud. Various companies turn up in this criminal network. ZEMBLA tracks down these companies to find out what role they played in the fraud.