Mysterious Panama Papers Source Finally Speaks Out

'Banks, financial regulators, and tax authorities have failed'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2016 6:00 PM CDT
Mysterious Panama Papers Source Finally Speaks Out
A worker demonstrates last month outside Argentina's Labor Ministry with a sign that reads in Spanish "I don't have an account in Panama."   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The mysterious source behind the Panama Papers broke their silence for the first time Friday, speaking out about their motivations and their willingness to assist law enforcement, the Guardian reports. In a statement titled "The Revolution Will Be Digitized," the source known only as John Doe (though their gender is unknown) states they aren't a spy and have never worked for a government. "My viewpoint is entirely my own," they state. John Doe cites "income inequality" and the "scales of injustice" as their reason for leaking the Panama Papers. "Banks, financial regulators, and tax authorities have failed," John Doe states. "Decisions have been made that have spared the wealthy while focusing instead on reining in middle- and low-income citizens."

The Panama Papers name hundreds of politicians, celebrities, and more with money hidden in offshore firms to avoid taxes and sanctions, the BBC reports. John Doe acknowledges that such shell companies aren't illegal in themselves, but argues they've been used to perpetrate many crimes. According to the New York Times, John Doe says thousands of people could be prosecuted based on information in the Panama Papers, and they are willing to help police as long as they are protected from government reprisals. John Doe states the Panama Papers were originally turned down by "several major media outlets and WikiLeaks, and they have so far been disappointed in the minor government response to their release. (More Panama Papers stories.)

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