Wirecard ex-COO Marsalek’s entry into the Philippines has been rigged, says minister

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MANILA (Reuters) – Immigration records showing former Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, who arrived in the Philippines on June 23 and left for China the next day, have been falsified, the Filipino secretary said on Saturday. Justice, Menardo Guevarra.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, on July 1, 2020. REUTERS / Andreas Gebert

Guevarra said that the immigration officials who seized the fictitious entries have been relieved of their duties and face administrative sanctions.

“The investigation has now turned to the people who made the wrong entries in the database, their motivations and their cohorts,” Guevarra told reporters.

Marsalek, 40, was fired as COO of the German firm on June 18 after auditor EY refused to sign Wirecard’s accounts. The company, which was once one of the hottest financial technology companies in Europe, collapsed a week later due to nearly $ 4 billion in creditors after it disclosed a $ 2.1 billion hole dollars in his accounts which, according to auditor EY, were the result of sophisticated global fraud.

The missing money was said to have been held in escrow accounts at two Filipino banks, which denied any connection to Wirecard.

Guevarra said it was possible that Marsalek was in the country, telling Reuters: “Notwithstanding the Bureau of Immigration report, I do not entirely rule out the possibility that Marsalek is in the Philippines. ”

“We are an island country, and there are backdoors through which undocumented foreigners can pass,” he said.

Munich prosecutors obtained arrest warrants against former CEO Markus Braun and Marsalek on June 22. Braun surrendered that day, but Marsalek disappeared and his cell number is no longer in use.

Both are suspected of market manipulation, false accounting and fraud, while the circle of suspects has expanded to include the entire board of directors of Wirecard.

Marsalek’s lawyer denied all requests for comment.

Marsalek oversaw Wirecard’s Asian operations, which are at the center of suspicion by auditors and prosecutors about attempts to falsely inflate cash balances, sales, and profits.

Guevarra said previous immigration records have shown that Marsalek was in the Philippines from March 3 to 5.

Karen Lema report; Additional reporting by Douglas Busvine in Berlin; Editing by William Mallard

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