Wirecard ex-COO hides in Philippines As German prosecutors prepare for arrest

The Philippines is investigating a $2.1 billion accounting scandal at German digital payments giant Wirecard, according tomedia reports, and the Philippines says Jan Marsalek, Wirecard’s former chief operating officer, may be in the Philippines.

Wirecard ex-COO hides in Philippines As German prosecutors prepare for arrest

Menaldo Guevara, the Philippine sanjustice minister, said today that he had instructed investigators to coordinate with the central bank’s anti-money laundering committee to investigate Wirecard.

On Monday, Masarek was fired by Wirecard. It comes after Wirecard announced that $2.1bn held at two Philippine banks may not exist at all. Both BPI and BDO Unibank said Wirecard was not a customer and had not seen the money.

The two banks also said wirecard’s documents depositing funds with them were false. There are reports that Wirecard trustees made false balance confirmations to deceive auditors.

“There are some indications that he (Masarek) may be back recently and may still be here (in the Philippines),” Guevara said in a text message to reporters today. Guevara added that immigration records show that the 40-year-old Austrian (Masarek) had been to the Philippines in March.

The Munich prosecutor’s office plans to arrest Masarek, German media reported. However, at present, Germany and the Philippines do not have an extradition treaty.

Wirecard CEO Markus Braun left the company on Friday in the wake of the accounting scandal. German prosecutors said yesterday that Braun had turned himself in on Monday night and was taken into custody. It emerged today that Braun was released on bail of 5 million euros on Tuesday.

Singapore has asked Wirecard to keep funds from Singapore’s payment processing business at local banks, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said yesterday.