The 2013 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) “Offshore Leaks” report sent shockwaves through the global financial community, exposing around 130,000 offshore accounts and trusts worldwide. Among the high-profile individuals implicated was Lee Swee Eng, now former Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of KNM Group, a Malaysian-based process equipment manufacturer and energy firm.

Lee Swee Eng, a prominent figure in Malaysia’s business landscape, was found to be a shareholder and Director of Active Nobile Incorporated, a subsidiary of Regula Limited. This company has been reportedly linked to a significant money-laundering scheme, raising questions about the extent of Lee’s involvement in offshore financial activities.
The investigation revealed that Lee was not only tied to Active Nobile Incorporated but also had connections to Multi Ideas Worldwide Ltd, where he was listed as a shareholder. These revelations have cast a shadow over Lee’s long-standing career in the oil and gas industry, which spans over three decades.

Lee’s involvement in these offshore entities came to light just as he was approaching the end of his tenure at KNM Group. In July 2020, it was announced that Lee, at age 64, would be retiring from his positions as group CEO and executive director. This timing has led to speculation about whether the offshore leaks revelations played a role in his decision to step down.

The implications of the offshore leaks extended far beyond individual cases like Lee’s. The exposé prompted investigations and policy reforms in numerous countries, including Austria, Australia, Canada, Greece, India, Israel, Mongolia, Philippines, and South Korea. These nations initiated official inquiries with the aim of transforming their tax policies and cracking down on offshore sanctuaries and comprehensive tax evasion.

The impact of the ICIJ’s investigation was particularly felt in Europe and Belgium, where it created a sense of urgency to act on business and property ownership disclosures. Other states tightened corporate transparency standards to better evaluate criminal liability and recover assets more effectively.

As the dust settles on the offshore leaks scandal, the case of Lee Swee Eng serves as a stark reminder of the far-reaching consequences of financial secrecy and the power of investigative journalism in uncovering hidden truths. The ICIJ’s work has undoubtedly transformed the world into a more transparent place, prompting high-profile resignations, policy reforms, and a global reassessment of financial practices.

Based in Washington, ICIJ operates as a global network of hundreds of investigative journalists from various countries as part of the Center for Public Integrity. It maintains its official website,, where the offshore leaks database is posted along with other timely “watchdog” reports about corruption, abuse of power and cross-border crimes.

Merry Gel Sigui

A multimedia journalist focused on producing articles about controversial global issues specifically on business, economy, politics, and technology. A strong believer in freedom of the press and exposing the wrong. only through engagement and communications can we as humans evolve. An accredited member of a leading local broadcast media organization.