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October 1, 2020

Singapore instructs Wirecard to stop services and return customers’ money

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has instructed the fraud-hit German payments company Wirecard to terminate its services, Reuters reported.

MAS asked Wirecard to stop offering services and return all customers’ funds.

In a statement, the MAS said: “Wirecard has informed MAS that it is unable to continue providing payment processing services to a significant number of merchants.

“MAS has assessed that it is in the interest of the public for Wirecard to cease its payments services and promptly return all customers’ funds.”

The regulator said that Wirecard must cease its services by 14 October 2020, the report added.

In recent months, MAS has been working to protect the interests of Wirecard’s customers in the city-state.

The central bank required Wirecard to keep its funds in banks and help in shifting to alternative service providers.

Wirecard mainly processes merchant payments and helps firms in Singapore to issue debit cards.

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

Wirecard’s 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.

Several global authorities, including the Singapore police, are investigating Germany’s biggest post-war corporate fraud.

Last month, the Philippines’ AMLC identified 57 “persons of interest” linked to the Wirecard scandal.

Lawmakers in Germany also opened a parliamentary probe into Wirecard.

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