NBI, BI ordered to investigate individuals involved in Wirecard scandal

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

The Justice Department has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Immigration to investigate individuals allegedly involved in the Wirecard scandal.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 24) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to investigate individuals allegedly involved in the Wirecard scandal.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has consulted with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) chief Benjamin Diokno, and directed the two agencies to look into individuals reportedly involved in the case in Germany, allegedly resulting in the disappearance of €1.9 billion or $2.1 billion cash.

"The NBI and the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) will work together insofar as there are indications of money laundering," Guevarra told reporters on Wednesday.

"I have no info on whether Wirecard is operating in the Philippines," he also said. "As to Marsalek, we found something curious in the BI database."

Guevarra revealed that the Immigration bureau's records show that Jan Marsalek, COO of Wirecard, came to the Philippines on March 3, 2020 and departed on March 5, 2020.

There are some indications, however, that he may have returned recently and may still be in the country, he added.

Guevarra ordered the BI to conduct an immediate probe on this.

Wirecard, which had been involved in allegations of suspected fraud last year, is facing scrutiny again for postponing the publication of its 2019 financial statements after trust accounts supposedly holding €1.9 billion in overseas accounts were not acknowledged by local lenders.

The amount is approximately a quarter of the consolidated balance sheet total, Wirecard said in a statement on June 18.

Around €2 billion of loans made to the German company can be terminated if the concerned funds aren't successfully located, it added.

Amid the controversy, the firm's board suspended member Jan Marsalek until the end of the month, while long-time CEO Markus Braun resigned last Friday.

James Freis Jr. has since been appointed as member of the management board and interim CEO.

Wirecard said on Monday that €1.9 billion in cash included in financial statements probably never existed in the first place. The company withdrew its preliminary results for 2019, the first quarter of 2020 and its profit forecast for 2020.

On Tuesday, Markus Braun, the Austrian tech entrepreneur who built Wirecard into one of Germany's biggest companies, was arrested.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.