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Ex-Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek may be in Philippines

Ralf Rivas
Ex-Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek may be in Philippines
The DOJ finds 'something curious' in immigration records. The NBI and AMLC are investigating other individuals possibly involved in one of the largest fraud cases in recent history.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice on Wednesday, June 24, said “there are some indications” that dismissed Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek is in the Philippines.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said immigration records showed that Marsalek visited the Philippines last March 3 and departed on March 5.

“There are some indications that he may have returned recently and may still be here. I have ordered the BI (Bureau of Immigration) to conduct an immediate investigation,” Guevarra said.

“We found something curious in the BI database. But let’s leave it at that,” he added.

German media reported that prosecutors may seek Marsalek’s arrest over the $2.1-billion scandal, now considered the largest fraud case in recent history.

Marsalek had been in charge of overseeing operations in Southeast Asia. He was booted out of the company due to the controversy.

Wirecard chief executive officer Markus Braun was arrested for false accounting and market manipulation on Tuesday, June 23, but freed on bail.

Guevarra has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into individuals who are reportedly involved in the Wirecard scandal.

“The NBI will coordinate with the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) in the initial phase of the investigation,” Guevarra said.

Germany and the Philippines have no extradition treaties, according to Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete.

“In any case, if Germany is a party to either the United Nations Convention Against Corruption or Treaty on Organized Crime, or even the Budapest Convention, these multilateral treaties may be the basis for requests for assistance,” Perete said.

Philippine banks got involved in the corporate scandal, as Filipino lawyer Mark Tolentino opened 6 euro accounts, supposedly as trustee.

The banks – Bank of the Philippine Islands and BDO Unibank – denied that the $2.1 billion entered their system, but noted that they are probing rogue employees for allegedly falsifying documents.

Tolentino on Tuesday told Rappler that he is a victim of a frame-up and identity theft. He said he does not know Wirecard officials and never met with any of them. – with reports from Lian Buan/Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.