Wirecard Scandal: New Indications for Marsalek's Stay in Moscow

Lifestyle & Travel ♦ Published: July 26, 2022; 22:13 ♦ (Vindobona)

Former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek, who has been in hiding for two years, could be living in Moscow under the protection of Russian intelligence services.

Jan Marsalek, the Austrian-born former executive is suspected of having committed commercial gang fraud, embezzlement, and other property and economic offenses. / Picture: © Polizeipräsidium München (Munich Police Department)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek may be under Russian intelligence protection in Moscow. A Russian passport with a photo of Marsalek as well as other information allegedly prove this.

As reported by Vindobona.org, according to Europol, the Austrian-born former executive is suspected of having committed commercial gang fraud, embezzlement, and other property and economic offenses. These offenses are estimated to have been in the billions of euros. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the manager, who is said to have maintained close ties with Russian intelligence services for a long time, managed to flee by plane to Belarus, which is closely allied with Russia, during the Wirecard insolvency that was gradually unfolding.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, their journalists initially received a tip from a Russian source at the beginning of this year about a Russian passport in the name of "German Bazhenov", which Marsalek allegedly uses in Moscow. According to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" report, after a photo of the passport was taken, more and more clues and information came in.

For example, Marsalek was said to like to frequent a well-known Moscow luxury restaurant, with his car accompanied by an SUV with suspected guards from a Russian secret service. In addition, there were other indications from Russian sources - such as alleged Moscow residential addresses. There are even pictures that are supposed to show Marsalek in Moscow.

At the same time, the Süddeutsche Zeitung pointed out that the authenticity of the passport photo, for example, could not be verified. It is therefore quite possible that this is deliberately spreading false information that only disguises Marsalek's whereabouts.

Manhunt and Wirecard Scandal

Wirecard filed for insolvency in June 2020. The payment service provider is alleged to have falsified its balance sheets for years, as reported by Vindobona.org. A total of about 3 billion euros in escrow accounts in Asia could no longer be found.

At the end of June 2020, Marsalek was a board member of the financial services company Wirecard, which went bankrupt under spectacular circumstances. In years past, the top management of the company, which was listed on the DAX, is alleged to have booked millions of euros in fictitious transactions.

Marsalek went into hiding when former CEO Markus Braun was arrested. Since June 22, 2020, he has been the subject of an international manhunt for billion-dollar fraud. As reported by Vindobona.org, some media outlets have reported on Marsalek’s possible connections to the Russian GRU and have speculated that he may be hiding in Russia. In 2020, the German “Handelsblatt” already then suggested that Marsalek was living in a mansion near Moscow under GRU supervision.

Marsalek’s Europol profile, which includes a picture, can be found here.

Süddeutschen Zeitung