2 BI officers relieved from post after encoding Wirecard COO’s entry to PH
MANILA, Philippines — Two Bureau of Immigration officers were relieved from their posts after they were found to have encoded that the former chief operating officer (COO) of German payments processing firm Wirecard AG entered the country on June 23.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevera made the revelation on Sunday, adding that one was stationed at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) while the other works at the BI head office.
“We’ll find out if other persons were involved, as well as their motives, once the work of the BI fact-finding committee is completed,” he said in a message to reporters.
He clarified that the two officers were only transferred to other BI units while the probe is ongoing.
“Once the fact-finding report shows culpability, the appropriate sanctions will be imposed,” Guevarra added.
The 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 leave China on June 24 as no such flight was indicated in the database of the bureau.
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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