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September 14, 2020

Philippines identifies 57 “persons of interest” in Wirecard case

The Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has put several people under the scanner in the scandal-plagued Wirecard case.

AMLC has identified a mix of 57 foreigners, local bank officers as well as government officials as the “persons of interest” linked to the Wirecard scandal.

The anti-money laundering agency will not probe the banks where the officers worked, according to Bloomberg.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank, will investigate possible internal control failures of the banks.

In a virtual briefing, AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela said that the authorities are analysing the transactions of these people who are “not necessarily the accused or respondents in a criminal case.”

Racela added that Wirecard e-Money Philippines, a unit of Wirecard, likely does not have any connection to the alleged fraud.

Additionally, authorities are eyeing firms with links to the former Wirecard executive Christopher Bauer, the Bloomberg report added.

Wirecard scandal

In June 2020, Wirecard filed an application to open insolvency proceedings with the Munich District Court, reeling from a billion-dollar balance sheet scandal.

Its auditors Ernest & Young (EY) said Wirecard owes ‎€4bn ($4.5bn) to creditors after it admitted that €1.9bn ($2.1bn) had gone missing from its books.

The scandal led to the arrest of former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun and other executives on suspicion of running a criminal racket that defrauded the creditors.

However, they denied any wrongdoing, while former Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek is currently on the run.

Jaffe has been selected to offload Wirecard’s assets and recover the missing amount that the company owes banks and creditors.

He also agreed to sell Wirecard’s operations in Brazil and the UK.

Earlier this month, Lawmakers in Germany opened a parliamentary probe into Wirecard.

Last week, Deutsche Bank dropped out of race to acquire Wirecard Bank.

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