Since his disappearance final month, former Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek has arguably been probably the most wished folks in the world. However, 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.
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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 in the books allegedly appeared to relate particularly to Wirecard’s operations in Asia.
The lacking funds have been introduced 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. Widely acknowledged as the corporate’s second-in-command and the pinnacle of its Asia operations, Marsalek was closely implicated by the lacking money.
As a results of the revelation, Wirecard CEO Dr. Markus Braun was arrested and indicted on costs of false accounting and market manipulation.
At 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 “red herring”. Marsalek’s immigration paperwork had been solid: the entire thing was a hoax.
At the identical time, Bellingcat discovered that Marsalek had instructed a colleague that he was hiding out “the same people have been in power for the last 25 years.” (Belarus matches that description.) Data obtained by Bellingcat additionally exhibits that he flew to Belarus on June 19th and didn’t depart the nation after that.
Marsalek’s curiosity in avoiding arrest could span past Wirecard woes
The Financial Times–which has been publishing ‘House of Wirecard’ (an investigative reporting sequence on the corporate) for fairly a while–reported that since his disappearance, Marsalek has turn into an individual of curiosity to at the least three western intelligence companies.
However, the intelligence curiosity in Marsalek–in addition to his personal efforts to keep away from arrest–could span past the lacking €2 billion.
Specifically, the western intelligence officers appear to be notably in Marsalek’s alleged connections with Russian army intelligence directorate, the GRU. The GRU has been blamed for incidences such because the 2014 War in Donbass, Ukraine, and the manipulation of the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
Western intelligence officers have motive to consider that Marsalek could have been concerned with the GRU to conduct shadowy enterprise in war-torn Libya.
According to Bellingcat, investigations have additionally proven that Russia’s Federal Security Service’s, or FSB, could have been concerned in serving to Marsalek disappear in June by tampering along with his journey data. Documents additionally present that Marsalek was a frequent customer of Russia, and had made greater than 60 journeys to the nation during the last 10 years.