The German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung-SZ, which first ran the leak of a massive trove of documents of a Panama law firm, that named some the world’s rich and famous and where they hid their money, can’t put a name to the source of the leak. Neither can the 150 investigative journalists who followed the story. A year ago, an individual e-mailed the German paper with an offer to release the Panama papers. As to his motive, the anonymous writer said, “I want to make these crimes public.” None of the journalists working on the story have been able to dig out the writer’s identity to this day, raising wide suspicions of a conspiracy. Some fingers point to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is reputed to hold secret accounts in many world banks.
Thursday, Putin rejected accusations that his relatives and associates had deposited billions of dollars in offshore accounts and called the Panama leak an American plot.