Authors Panama Papers: In search of the most wanted arms dealer in the world

Karlijn Saris
He is on the FBI’s most wanted list. The CIA, Mossad and Ml6 have been pursuing him for years. He was prosecuted and convicted twice. But the trouble is, he’s nowhere to be found. Karl Lee, alias Li Fangwei, is one of the most conscienceless and unscrupulous arms dealers in the world, involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and supplying dictators with whatever weapons they want. Award-winning investigative journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer (Paper Trail Media) have decided to go after this world’s most dangerous man.

This evening, we will talk with Frederik Obermaier about their newest book: The Chinese Phantom (De gevaarlijkste man van de wereld). Obermaier and Obermayer followed the trail of suspicious money and arms deals around the world, leading to the front door of Lee’s largest army factory. In their book, the authors address the delicate power relations between China and the United States and speculate on the political reasons why Lee remains on bail.

Panama Papers

In 2016, Obermaier and Obermayer garnered worldwide attention with their book The Panama Papers, which won the Pulizer Award. The secret Panama Files handed over to the authors by an anonymous source revealed the financial activities of some of the most powerful individuals and corporations in the world. 107 journalists in 80 countries published about the papers, leading to a worldwide juridical investigation about tax avoidance by the super rich.


Frederik ObermaierInvestigative journalist