Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Entry data falsified by former board member?

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Dhe puzzles about the location of the former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek are getting bigger. The data, which appeared to confirm the Austrian’s entry into the Philippines on June 23 and the onward journey to China the next day, were falsified, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday. According to Guevarras, surveillance cameras, airline directories, and other records do not indicate that Marsalek was in the Philippines on those days.

“The immigration officials who made these fictitious entries have been released from their duties and now face administrative penalties,” Guevarra said, not mentioning the exact number of employees. He ordered further investigations into the case.

The 40-year-old Marsalek is on the run after Wirecard unveiled a balance sheet hole of 1.9 billion euros, released him and declared bankruptcy. He was responsible for Wirecard’s Asian business, which is at the heart of the accounting scandal.

“Loopholes” possible in the island nation

The close confidante of CEO Markus Braun, like his colleagues on the Executive Board, is suspected of falsifying the balance sheet, market manipulation and fraud. The Munich public prosecutor’s office has issued an arrest warrant for him.

Guevarra had spoken of abnormalities shortly after Marsalek’s alleged entry because the manager was not seen on any surveillance camera at the airport. Even so, he cannot completely rule out that Marsalek is in the country, said the politician of the Reuters news agency. “We are an island nation and there are loopholes through which foreigners can slip unnoticed.”

The Philippines are the focus of the affair, as the missing money was allegedly parked in escrow accounts at two banks in the country, which the account records described as fake. According to Guevarras, Marsalek had previously been in the Philippines from March 3-5.

Wirecard had admitted in June that company funds booked in Asian trust accounts were very unlikely to exist – and had filed for bankruptcy last week. In addition to the former CEO Braun, a key figure is Marsalek, who was formerly responsible for day-to-day business on the Wirecard board. As previously thought, his trail was lost in the Philippines a good ten days ago.

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