TWO IMMIGRATION workers were relieved over a false report that the former chief operating officer of German payment company Wirecard AG had entered the country in June before leaving for China.

“We’ll find out if other persons were involved, as well as their motives, once the work of the Bureau of Immigration fact-finding committee is completed,” Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters via Viber on Sunday.

He said one of them was stationed at Mactan Cebu International Airport, while the other worked at the head office. They were transferred to other units pending investigation, he added.

“Once the fact-finding report shows culpability, the appropriate sanctions will be imposed,” Mr. Guevarra said.

The justice chief on Saturday said the bureau had found that Jan Marsalek did not visit the Philippines, based on CCTV footage, airline manifests and other records.

He said they were investigating people involved in encoding fictitious entries. “I will direct the National Bureau of Investigation to probe into this matter more deeply and determine possible criminal responsibility,” he told reporters in a Viber message at the weekend.

Mr. Guevarra last month said Mr. Marsalek, a dismissed board member and former chief operating officer of Wirecard, arrived in the country on June 23 and left for Cebu morning the next day based on the Immigration bureau’s central database.

However, closed-circuit television footage did not show him arriving and there was no record of any flights to China that day, he said.

Mr. Guevarra last month ordered state agents to probe people involved in the missing $2.1 billion from Wirecard.

Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno had said none of the German company’s missing money had entered the country’s financial system. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas