It’s not often a single anonymous message can result in ripples being made around the world’s political and economic elite. The one sent to Bastian Obermayer did.
The message the investigative journalist received was from ‘John Doe’ – the unknown whistleblower responsible for thePanama Papers’ revelations.
“At the beginning I didn’t think this was the new big story,” Obermayer, 38, told WIRED. Once the source had made contact and some initial verification documents had been sent, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper journalist met colleague Frederik Obermaier and drank ouzo in a “shabby” Greek restaurant in Munich.
Now, several months after the global story broke and implicated world leaders, the pair has detailed the inside story of its investigation in a new book. A statement inside the book from ‘Doe’ says the 11.5 million documents, totalling 2.6 terabytes of data, were released to stop “massive, pervasive corruption”.