BPI employee faces charges in $2.1-B Wirecard mess

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed charges against an employee of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) for his alleged involvement in the $2.1-billion Wirecard scandal.

In a statement on Thursday, the DOJ said BPI assistant manager Joey Dela Cruz Arellano was indicted for falsifying bank certificates.

It said Arellano is facing "four counts for falsifying four bank certificates and two counts of violation of Section 55.1(a) in relation to Section 56.1 of Republic Act No. 8971 (The General Banking Act of 2010) in relation to Section 36 of RA 7653 as amended by RA 11221 (New Central Bank Act.)"

The DOJ, meanwhile, dismissed the charges against former Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Kristopher G. Tolentino, Judith Singayan Pe, and former Wirecard executive Jan Marsalek for lack of evidence.

The Philippines was dragged into the controversy after Germany's digital technology Wirecard AG claimed its $2.1 billion in cash was kept in two of the country's trusted banking institutions--BPI and BDO.

READ: SEC document shows Wirecard PH treasurer had a BPI account, but bank says it may be fake

The scandal was unveiled after Wirecard's auditor presented bank certificates to BDO Unibank and BPI, which both claimed were fakes.

BDO and BPI also stressed that the payments firm was not their client.