STATE AGENTS sued two immigration officers at the Justice department for falsifying travel records of former Wirecard AG chief Jan Marsalek, who has been a fugitive from justice since June after he was blamed for the collapse of the German payment processor.
In a statement, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said the immigration officers assigned at the international airports in Cebu and Metro Manila are also facing charges of violating the code of conduct for public officials.
Mr. Marsalek was reported to have arrived in the country in June and left Cebu airport the next day. But Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra had said his travel record had been falsified.
Wirecard’s missing 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) was supposedly placed in two Philippine banks, but BDO Unibank, Inc. and the Bank of the Philippine Islands denied this. The Philippine central bank has said the money had not entered the country’s financial system.
“The entries on the Bureau of Immigration records for June 23 and 24, 2020, both spurious, appear to be mere diversionary in order to divert the attention of the authorities in Europe to focus its attention in the Philippines and not in their jurisdiction,” the NBI said in its complaint.
Officer-in-charge Eric B. Distor said the investigation showed that Mr. Marsalek’s most recent travel record was his arrival in the Metro Manila airport on June 23 processed by one of the immigration officers. His departure from the Cebu airport was processed by the other officer.
The NBI said the records were spurious because passengers had not been allowed to enter the country at that time amid a global coronavirus pandemic. The immigration official who supposedly processed his papers was also not on duty at that time, it said.
Mr. Marsalek’s departure from Cebu was also faked because footage at the airport showed that the immigration counters had been unmanned after the supposed flight.
It was also impossible for him to be in Cebu the day after he arrived, and the other immigration officer was also not on duty at that time, it said.
The NBI said records showed that Mr. Marsalek arrived in the Philippines March 3 and left two days later. It was unlikely that he was still in the country, it said.
Mr. Guevarra in June ordered state agents to probe people allegedly involved in the missing fund from Wirecard.
He confirmed on Thursday that Christopher Bauer, the owner of key Wirecard partner PayEasy Solutions, died in a hospital in Parañaque City near the capital on July 27 due to “natural causes.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas