MANILA (Reuters) – Immigration records showing former Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek arrived in the Philippines on June 23 and left for China the next day were forged, the Philippine attorney general said Saturday, Menardo Guevarra.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and private label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is displayed at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, on July 1, 2020. REUTERS / Andreas Gebert
Guevarra said the immigration officials who entered the dummy entrances were relieved of their duties and face administrative penalties.
“The investigation has now targeted people who made false entries in the database, their motives, and their cohorts,” Guevarra told reporters.
Marsalek, 40, was fired as chief operating officer of the German firm on June 18 after the EY auditor refused to sign Wirecard’s accounts. The company, once one of Europe’s most popular financial technology companies, collapsed a week later due to nearly $ 4 billion creditors after revealing a $ 2.1 billion hole in its accounts that the EY auditor He said it was the result of sophisticated global fraud.
The missing money was allegedly held in escrow accounts at two Philippine banks, which have denied any ties to the Wirecard.
Guevarra said that it was possible that Marsalek could be in the country, and told Reuters: “Despite the report from the Immigration Office, I do not totally rule out the possibility that Marsalek could be in the Philippines.”
“We are an island country and there are back doors through which undocumented aliens can pass,” he said.
Munich prosecutors obtained arrest warrants against former CEO Markus Braun and Marsalek on June 22. Braun turned himself in that day, but Marsalek has disappeared and his mobile phone number is no longer in service.
Both are suspected of market manipulation, false accounting, and fraud, while the circle of suspects has expanded to the entire Wirecard board of directors.
Marsalek’s lawyer has rejected all requests for comment.
Marsalek oversaw Wirecard’s Asian operations, which are at the center of suspicion from auditors and prosecutors of attempts to falsely inflate cash balances, turnover and earnings.
Guevarra said that previous immigration records had shown that Marsalek had been in the Philippines from March 3-5.
Report by Karen Lema; Additional reports by Douglas Busvine in Berlin; Editing by William Mallard