Philippines Investigates Whereabouts of Ex-Wirecard Executive

The Philippines is investigating whether former Wirecard AG executive Jan Marsalek is in the country, as it steps up a probe into other individuals allegedly involved in the case.

The Bureau of Immigration has been ordered to look into “some indication” that former Wirecard Chief Operating Officer Marsalek may have returned to the Southeast Asian nation after leaving on March 5, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a statement.

Shares in the German firm have collapsed in recent days amid an accounting scandal and worries about Wirecard’s banking facilities. The company has acknowledged that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) previously reported as assets probably doesn’t exist.

Wirecard said on Monday it had dismissed Marsalek and terminated his employment contract. On Tuesday, the Munich prosecutor’s office said former Wirecard Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun has been arrested.

Before his dismissal, Marsalek had been trying to get in touch with Asian banks and trustees in order to try to recover the missing money, people familiar with the matter had said.

“As to Marsalek, we found something curious in the immigration database, but let’s leave it at that for now,” Guevarra said.

The Philippine central bank said over the weekend that none of Wirecard’s missing $2.1 billion of cash entered the country’s financial system.

The Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation will separately work with the Anti-Money Laundering Council in probing individuals linked to the Wirecard case, whom Guevarra didn’t identify.

Philippine lenders BDO Unibank Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands have also said that they didn’t have a relationship with Wirecard, and that rogue employees falsified documents that indicated the presence of some funds.

Meanwhile, Philippines-based lawyer Mark Tolentino denied media reports that he is a trustee of Wirecard. “They say I am the trustee of the missing cash. If the cash is missing, what is there to manage?” he said in a mobile phone message.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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