Economy

Wirecard: Two alleged escape helpers arrested by Jan Marsalek

The fleeting ex-board member Jan Marsalek.

Wirecard

Jan Marsalek’s trail will be lost on June 18, 2020. Since then he has been on the run from the investigators. The former Wirecard board member is considered to be the mastermind behind the extensive falsification of the balance sheet at the Aschheim payment service provider and has been wanted for months by international arrest warrant.

The Austrian police have now arrested two alleged escape helpers, as the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “Der Standard” report in unison.

Confidants helped him escape to Minsk

The first person should be the Austrian Martin W., a former top man at the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter Terrorism (BVT). W. had met him in a Munich restaurant the evening before Marsalek disappeared. According to the arrest warrant issued by the Vienna Regional Court on January 22nd, which is available to the “SZ” and the “Standard”, he is said to have helped the Wirecard manager escape to Minsk.

According to the knowledge of the Austrian authorities, W. is said to have had a helper in planning the escape: the FPÖ politician Thomas Schellenbacher. According to information from “SZ” and “Der Standard”, he is now also in custody. According to the investigation, Schellenbacher is said to have admitted that he organized a flight for Marsalek to Minsk on behalf of W.

Marsalek is considered the main suspect in the Wirecard affair

Jan Marsalek was considered the right hand man of the former Wirecard managing director Markus Braun. Marsalek was responsible for day-to-day business before the first thing he had to do on June 18 after the accounting scandal became known.

The group actually wanted to present strong business figures from 2019 on this day. Hours before the start of the conference, the auditing firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) refused to issue an attestation for the balance sheet. There was no audit evidence for trust accounts amounting to 1.9 billion euros – and that before a balance sheet conference. The sum corresponds to a quarter of the Dax Group’s total balance sheet volume. The company’s share price fell nearly 60 percent in 15 minutes and has not rallied to date.

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