Since his disappearance final month, former Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek has arguably been one of the vital needed folks on this planet. Nevertheless, on July 18th, 2020, investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat reported that the search could also be over: Marsalek is suspected to be positioned in Minsk, the capital metropolis of Belarus.
Marsalek’s location was decided by Bellingcat in collaboration with two of its investigative companions: german information outlet Der Spiegel and The Insider, one other information agency.
Marsalek initially disappeared in June, following revelations that Wirecard’s books could also be cooked
Marsalek initially went off the grid in June, following the revelation that Wirecard–the corporate he oversaw the operations of since 2010–had a gap in its books that was roughly €2 billion deep. The issues within the books allegedly appeared to narrate particularly to Wirecard’s operations in Asia.
The lacking funds had been delivered to mild by auditors who found that the €2 billion–which was believed to be sitting in third-party trustee financial institution accounts in East Asia–wasn’t there in any respect. Well known as the corporate’s second-in-command and the top of its Asia operations, Marsalek was closely implicated by the lacking money.
On account of the revelation, Wirecard CEO Dr. Markus Braun was arrested and indicted on costs of false accounting and market manipulation.
Jan Marsalek, former COO of Wirecard. (by way of Bellingcat)
On the identical time, Wirecard’s administration workforce (together with Marsalek) was terminated by the corporate. The identical day, Marsalek allegedly instructed his colleagues that he was going to the Philippines to chase down the €2 billion.
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Bellingcat reported that whereas airline bookings and immigration paperwork do create a paper path that exhibits Marsalek’s arrival in Manila on June 23rd, the journey was a “crimson herring”. Marsalek’s immigration paperwork had been cast: the entire thing was a hoax.
On the identical time, Bellingcat discovered that Marsalek had instructed a colleague that he was hiding out “the identical folks have been in energy for the final 25 years.” (Belarus suits that description.) Knowledge obtained by Bellingcat additionally exhibits that he flew to Belarus on June 19th and didn’t go away the nation after that.
Marsalek’s curiosity in avoiding arrest might span past Wirecard woes
The Monetary Instances–which has been publishing ‘Home of Wirecard’ (an investigative reporting sequence on the corporate) for fairly a while–reported that since his disappearance, Marsalek has turn out to be an individual of curiosity to not less than three western intelligence companies.
Nevertheless, the intelligence curiosity in Marsalek–in addition to his personal efforts to keep away from arrest–might span past the lacking €2 billion.
Particularly, the western intelligence officers appear to be significantly concerned with Marsalek’s alleged connections with Russian navy intelligence directorate, the GRU. The GRU has been blamed for incidences such because the 2014 Struggle in Donbass, Ukraine, and the manipulation of the 2016 presidential election in the US.
Western intelligence officers have cause to imagine that Marsalek might have been concerned with the GRU to conduct shadowy enterprise in war-torn Libya.
In accordance with Bellingcat, investigations have additionally proven that Russia’s Federal Safety Service’s, or FSB, might have been concerned in serving to Marsalek disappear in June by tampering together with his journey info. Paperwork additionally present that Marsalek was a frequent customer of Russia, and had made greater than 60 journeys to the nation over the past 10 years.
by way of Bellingcat: “Marsalek’s 2016 journey schedule exhibits a near-monthly sample of visits; normally on weekdays and usually very brief.”