The prime suspect of the Wirecard fraud, the firm’s former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jan Marsalek, reportedly is hiding in a facility in Moscow, Russia.
Reportedly, the COO of Wirecard since 2010 had lied about going to the Philippines after his disappearance late last month following the eruption of Germany’s and Europe’s biggest financial scandal after auditors confirmed $2 billion was missing from Wirecard.
Handelsblatt, a German business newspaper, reported that Marsalek transferred huge sums of Bitcoin after he escaped from Germany, where Wirecard is based.
Wirecard fraud, which has turned out to be a big issue in the country, has been a story of insolvency and allegations of improper accounting relating to missing billions of dollars from a balance sheet.
The former COO tied to this Wirecard fraud is said to be in Russia. Handelsblatt reported that Marsalek has been missing for weeks, and he “is said to have brought significant sums to Russia in the form of bitcoins from Dubai, where Wirecard had dubious operations.
The wall street journal has documented Marsalek’s fascination for crypto. He was reported to enjoy having late-night discussions about cryptocurrencies and their ability to move money without a trace.
Wirecard fraud led to firm’s suspension
Last month, Wirecard got suspended in the UK as authorities asked that the firm stop all its activities in the country.
This was after the firm’s auditor reported that it was unable to find evidence for $2.1 billion that was supposed to be in the company’s trust account. Uk authorities afterward have been working alongside the firm to protect customers’ funds.
Wirecard was told not to dispose of any funds, and the subsidiary was instructed to suspend all activities and announce on its website that the firm is no longer permitted to conduct any regulated activity.
World’s most wanted man
The title, “World most wanted man,” has been used to describe the former Wirecard COO. The title was used to open an investigative report by Bellingcat, which claims to use digital data to piece together events.
— Anna Smolchenko (@Annaafp) July 20, 2020
Reportedly, the former COO who was arrested by German authorities is on the run from as many as three Western intelligence agencies. Currently, he is believed to be under GRU supervision in a property west of Moscow.