The former Wirecard board member Marsalek, who is said to have played a key role in the accounting scandal, is under secret service supervision in Russia, according to a media report. Domestically, the pressure on the federal government is growing.
According to a newspaper report, the fleeting ex-board member of the Munich-based financial services provider Wirecard, Jan Marsalek, has gone to Russia. As the "Handelsblatt" writes, citing business, judicial and diplomatic circles, the manager is housed on an estate near Moscow under the supervision of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. Previously, Marsalek is said to have made considerable sums of money in the form of bitcoins from Dubai to Russia.
According to the investigative platform "Bellingcat", Marsalek flew from Klagenfurt via Tallin to Minsk in Belarus on the day he was released from Wirecard in mid-June, the "Handelsblatt" added. Because of the political conflict between Russia and Belarus (Belarus) it was probably too risky for the GRU to leave Marsalek in the neighboring country. That’s why he was taken to Russia.
The "Spiegel" also reported on Saturday, Marsalek entered Belarus shortly after his release. This can be seen from the entry and exit register. A re-departure has not yet been recorded there, which indicates that Marsalek is still in Belarus or Russia. According to "Spiegel", the findings feed the thesis that Marsalek had cooperated with or worked for Russian secret services. So far it has been suspected that Marsalek is more likely to be in Asia. He was responsible for the DAX Group’s Asia business.
Missing 1.9 billion euros
Wirecard had admitted in June that the annual balance sheet is missing 1.9 billion euros and the money probably not even exist. The group’s share price plummeted, and the company filed for bankruptcy. In the case, the Munich I public prosecutor’s office is investigating.
The bankruptcy sparked a debate in Germany about the omissions of the authorities and auditors, who had long remained hidden from the falsified accounts. The actions of the federal government are also increasingly criticized.
The opposition is now increasing the pressure on the government. The chairmen of the parliamentary groups in the finance committee are discussing a possible special meeting today. Among other things, it is about whether there were errors in the financial supervision, whether Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz bears responsibility and whether the Federal Government – including the Chancellery – possibly supported Wirecard, although the suspicion of irregularities was already in the room.
A committee of inquiry is coming?
As the "Spiegel" first reported, the Federal Chancellery campaigned for the payment processor in autumn 2019 around a trip to China by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel – the Chancellor herself was also involved. According to a report by his ministry, Scholz had been informed since February 19, 2019 that the financial supervisory authority Bafin was investigating the Wirecard case "on suspicion of violating the ban on market manipulation".
The left is already calling for a parliamentary committee of inquiry. The FDP and the Greens are also threatening it if the federal government does not provide sufficient information.