BI officers sacked for ‘fictitiously’ encoding Wirecard COO’s entry to PH
MANILA, Philippines — Some Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers were removed from their posts as they were found to have “fictitiously” encoded that the former chief operating officer (COO) of German payments processing firm Wirecard AG entered the country on June 23, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Saturday.
In a Viber message to reporters, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the BI officers who encoded the entries have not only been relieved from their duties as they will also face administrative sanctions.
He added that BI has established that former Wirecard AG exec Jan Marsalek did not arrive in the Philippines on June 23 “based on CCTV footage, airline manifests, and other records.”
“He also did not depart on June 24, as there was no such flight to China as indicated in the database of the [BI],” he added.
The fintech company is currently embroiled in a controversy over alleged accounting irregularities in its Asian operations.
The company previously claimed it could not find some 1.9 billion euros or $2.1 billion, which are supposedly under two accounts in two separate Philippine banks, and eventually concluded that no such accounts actually exist.
The Philippine banks were identified as the Bank of the Philippine Islands and BDO Unibank, which both had since denied having any dealings with Wirecard.
The scandal led to the firing and later arrest of Marsalek. The company’s CEO, Markus Braun, also resigned from his post due to the scandal and was also arrested.
Meanwhile, Guevarra said that he will direct the National Bureau of Investigation “to probe into this matter more deeply and determine possible criminal responsibility.”
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