A mysterious millionaire really, really wants to find out what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight 17. The flight was brought down in July, presumably by pro-Russian separatists who took responsibility for the attack, but later denied such claims. A German private investigation firm was contacted by someone looking to get details on the plane shooting. They offered up $30 million in exchange for information, a full $5 million more than the United States offered for information leading to the capture of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
Here's what they are looking for, from a statement issued by Wifka:
After the terrible assassination or "accident" all political parties, at home and abroad, said they owed it to the victims, their families and the public to clarify the circumstances of the crash and present evidence for what happened. None of this has yet been done.
Wifka wants to know:
– Who shot down MH17 on July 17?
– Who gave the order?
– Who covers up the shoot down? (Also, if it was by accident and not out of political, economic or military motivation)
– Who can provide details on the circumstances that led to the shoot down?
– Who was directly involved with the shoot down?
– What happened to the people that were involved with the shoot down? What happened to the weapon used?
– Who can name the people that cleared the shoot down?
Josef Resch, an employee of the Wifka firm, is leading this investigation. He told Capital Magazine, as reported by The Telegraph, "Everyone can be bought, it’s just a question of the price." Even the company is not sure who their client is, as the deal was passed to the company anonymously. Resch believes the bounty may have come from an intelligence agency that did not want to put their name on the money, or from a Russian oligarch looking to take down Putin behind the scenes.
To make sure the offer was legitimate, Wifka confirmed this client had the money in advance. They found the $30 million sitting in a Swiss bank, waiting to be given out if the investigation is successful. The company has already been paid about $52,000 for handling the investigation.
If you have new information that directly and accurately answers any of the questions, you get the bounty money plus a new identity (that is, if you need one). As for actually getting the information to the agency, they are taking great precautions and advise any whistleblowers to avoid phone or email communication, noting they have a "secure way of communication" set up. It's not clear if the mysterious millionaire plans to share any information gathered.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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