Former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek apparently fled to Belarus. According to a report by the mirror , he is said to have left for Minsk on the day of his release. Accordingly, for Marsalek there is an entry in the Russian entry and exit register, which also includes trips to Belarus. A re-exit is not recorded in the database. This suggests that Marsalek is still in Belarus.
At first it was assumed that Marsalek had fled to China via the Philippines. This was indicated by entries in the database of the Philippine Immigration Service. However, the state justice minister later said that immigration officials falsified the data.
Marsalek is said to have connections to the Russian secret service GRU. Marsalek has traveled to Russia frequently since 2010. The Handelsblatt recently quoted the manager's private communication with a confidant. The clippings also suggest that Marsalek is in Belarus.
When asked whether the political situation in his country of residence was stable, Marsalek is said to have replied: "Yes, the same people are still at the helm as 25 years ago," wrote Der Spiegel . This statement excludes most countries in the world. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been in office since 1994.
Chancellery has campaigned for Wirecard in China
The Wirecard scandal has now also reached politics. The Federal Chancellery supported the financial service provider in autumn of last year and supported the planned market entry in China at the time. This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the federal government. Before Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) traveled to China, former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had auditioned for her.
Afterwards, he is said to have sent an email to Merkel's business consultant Lars-Hendrik Röller, in which he "informed Wirecard about the intended market entry in China, including a short report, and asked for flanking as part of the China trip". On September 8, one day after Merkel's trip, Röller replied to Guttenberg's message and informed him "that the topic was raised during the visit to China." First, the mirror reported on the process.
Guttenberg advised Wirecard on the planned expansion into the Chinese market with its investment and consulting company Spitzberg Partners. Just two months after Guttenberg's conversation with the Chancellery, Wirecard announced that the group would acquire shares in the Chinese company AllScore Payment Services.
Opposition calls for committee of inquiry
Now the opposition is demanding clarification, in particular from Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Chancellery. Greens and FDP threatened a committee of inquiry in the Bundestag. The left already considers this to be inevitable. A decision for a special meeting of the Finance Committee in the Bundestag could already be made on Monday.
Green finance politician Danyal Bayaz said that the question was whether, in the Wirecard case, "somebody in this federal government did something right." This apparently also affects the Chancellery. "There are abysses of collective amateurism," said Bayaz. "How can you stand up for a company when there are already numerous allegations?" The federal government should no longer come out slice with the truth. "Everything will and must be cleared up as quickly as possible - there shouldn't be a summer break."
FDP finance spokesman Florian Toncar also criticized that the federal government had backed Wirecard despite the most serious allegations and ongoing investigations. What started as a balance sheet scandal has "arrived in the heart of the federal government." If the government doesn't clean up, "then it stumbles closer to a committee of inquiry."
This would be particularly uncomfortable for Scholz. Critics accuse him of not pursuing the investigation against Wirecard decisively enough, although the minister had known about the investigations by the financial regulator Bafin at Wirecard since February 2019. Now Scholz wants to better staff the Bafin and give her more skills. At times there was only one employee involved in checking Wirecard.
Allegations against Scholz also from the Union
The left group's deputy spokesman, Fabio de Masi, said the Chancellery and the Ministry of Finance should explain whether Merkel personally lobbied for Wirecard in China and whether the Chancellery knew about irregularities in the company. "In order for us to be able to see all the necessary documents and hear important witnesses, a committee of inquiry is inevitable."
The Union is at least ready for a special meeting of the Finance Committee. Union leader Hans Michelbach (CSU) told the Passauer Neue Presse that there would be a special meeting. He also attacked Scholz. As finance minister, he "naturally has overall responsibility for how the scandal was dealt with in his area of responsibility."
Wirecard filed for bankruptcy at the end of June after the company had to admit that there was a lack of cash of EUR 1.9 billion on the balance sheet that was said to be in Asian bank accounts. The public prosecutor's office in Munich is investigating several managers, including Marsalek and ex-managing director Markus Braun, who has confronted the judiciary due to market manipulation, falsification of the balance sheet, breach of trust and fraud.
Federal Finance Minister - Olaf Scholz probably already knew about Wirecard suspicions in 2019 According to a report, the Finance Minister was informed of the suspicion of market manipulation in February 2019. MPs accuse him of a lack of information policy. © Photo: Michael Sohn / Reuters