Philippines seeks criminal charges against Wirecard former executive

Philippines seeks criminal charges against Wirecard former executive
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo

Philippine investigators have sought criminal charges against a former executive of the German payment company Wirecard AG in connection with a financial scandal that led to the firm’s collapse in 2020, the Justice department said on Friday.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a complaint for falsification of commercial documents against Austrian Jan Marsalek and several individuals, assistant state prosecutor Honey Rose Delgado told reporters.

Investigators also recommended charges for violations of Philippine laws on banking, cybercrime and electronic commerce against the respondents, she said.

The complaints will be evaluated by prosecutors for filing in court, Delgado added.

Marsalek, who remains at large, was fired as chief operating officer of the German firm in 2020 after 1.9 billion euros (2.1 billion dollars) went missing from Wire card’s accounts, and the company’s auditors warned it could have been the result of fraud.

The missing money was supposedly held in escrow accounts in two of the largest banks in the Philippines, but the banks denied having Wire card as their clients.

One of the other respondents in the complaints is Filipino lawyer, Mark Tolentino, a former assistant secretary for transportation in the Philippines, who supposedly opened the accounts for Wire card in the two local banks.

An employee of one of the local banks and an associate of Tolentino were also named in the complaints.

In 2020, the NBI recommended criminal charges against two immigration officers for allegedly falsifying travel records for Marsalek, who was last in the Philippines in March, months before the controversy broke out.

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