After more than a year of analysis, the first news stories were published on April 3, 2016, by SZ and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Some 4.8 million leaked files were emails, 3 million were database entries, 2.2 million PDFs, 1.2 million images, 320,000 text files, and 2242 files in other formats.

Edward Snowden described the release in a Twitter message as the “biggest leak in the history of data journalism”.

Some of the earliest stories reported on involved Siemens’ secret $500 million South American slush fund, and billions of dollars of transactions involving Sergei Roldugin, Russian virtuoso cellist… who happens to be the best friend of Vladimir Putin. Roldugin was also recently implicated in a massive money laundering scheme involving Troika Dialog, Russia’s largest investment bank. worth $9 billion US dollars, known as the “Troika Laundromat”.

When the German journalists working for SZ started to dig into the leaks, they tried to contact Mozzfon for comment.  Instead they were contact by Burson-Marsteller, the PR / crisis control firm based in NY, now known as Burson Cohn & Wolfe.

Another early SZ story was about a major German bank, Commerzbank, who was involved in laundering hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars out of Iran, Sudan and Myanmar, against US sanctions, via Mossfon shell companies.

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