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Gov’t execs in $2.1B Wirecard scam?

ASIDE from private bankers in the country, government executives are allegedly involved in the missing $2.1-billion Wirecard AG funds.

Investigations being conducted by the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat said some government officials allegedly falsified travel documents of former Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek.

The probe also revealed two local bank officers allegedly forged some documents.

Earlier reports said these bank officers are from the Sy-led BDO Unibank Inc. and Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). These banks, however, have denied involvement in the missing funds.

AMLC Secretariat executive director Mel Georgie Racela reiterated their earlier findings that none of the missing funds entered the domestic financial system.

He said AMLC has submitted its reports to the National Bureau of Investigation and is also building up cases against several other individuals.

Wirecard reportedly has a subsidiary in the Philippines involved in acquisition of third-party transactions.

Results of their investigation showed that these companies are not involved in the multibillion-peso fraud, Racela, who did not name the firms, said.

However, he said these domestic companies are registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and “have shown transparency and willingness to cooperate”.

“So it’s not something that should give us or ask us to press the panic button. As long as they are here we can always proceed with our investigation,” he said, citing that “we have not established any connection”.

Meanwhile, the AMLC Secretariat said 57 individuals, including foreigners, are now considered as persons of interest in connection to the incident which earlier rocked the Philippine banking industry.

It was not revealed how many of the 57 persons of interest are foreigners. But the AMLC said it is now in close coordination with German authorities regarding the case.

AMLC officials are also waiting for more information on the results of investigations by the German authorities to know whether they have filed cases against their citizens.

The government also needs evidences and, at least equations, that these foreigners are engaged in fraudulent activities. Without a predicate offense we cannot proceed with our money laundering case against these foreigners.

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Publication Source :    People's Tonight