Securing an exclusive interview with jailed Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo was an "unreal" experience for senior correspondent Nirmal Ghosh (above, left).
It was a scoop that won him and Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh (above, right) the Story of the Year award.
The Straits Times' Indochina bureau chief recalled the difficulty of gaining access to the man embroiled in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad saga. "We called (the Thai police) every day, sometimes twice a day," said Mr Ghosh, 56. "We got nothing at all."
A spokesman had given updates on Justo's case, but it was not enough for the journalist.
He wanted to confirm the facts with Justo himself, and finally managed to do so by going through Justo's lawyer.
"I was surprised," Mr Ghosh said. "There was a feeling of unreality, until I finally sat down with the man."