MANILA - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday revealed the "curious" detail he earlier referred to about the case of the missing former chief operating officer of the controversial payment processing firm Wirecard.
Guevarra said Wednesday that Jan Marsalek arrived in the Philippines on March 3 and left on March 5 but hinted that there were indications he may still be in the country.
On Friday, the justice chief disclosed that while Immigration records showed he came back to the Philippines in June, he was not at all seen on the bureau's CCTV footage.
"Entries in the central database of the BI indicate that Mr. Marsalek flew in on June 23 and left in the morning of June 24 for China from Cebu International Airport. But CCTV footage does not show him arriving here, and there is no record of any flight to China scheduled in the morning of June 24 from Cebu," Guevarra explained.
"The BI is now investigating its Management Information System division personnel. The results of the investigation... may lead to various scenarios, including the possibility of employing diversionary tactics to mislead Marsalek's pursuers. Let's just wait for the report," he said.
Marsalek was fired as COO of Wirecard on Monday after it emerged that the missing $2.1 billion funds may have been non-existent all this time as two Philippine banks denied that Wirecard funds were ever deposited with them, claiming that the alleged bank documents were forged.
The scandal led to the resignation and arrest of Wirecard chief executive officer Markus Braun. Accused of accounting fraud, the German fintech company's shares crashed by 70 percent and filed for insolvency Thursday, citing insolvency and over-indebtedness.
Meanwhile, Guevarra said the NBI has invited Philippine lawyer Mark Tolentino on Monday "to shed light on his involvement as trustee in the Wirecard mess."
Tolentino earlier surfaced to deny he served as trustee to the missing funds, saying he was only asked to open bank accounts for his client, Wirecard. He said he is a victim of a frame-up and identity theft.
Guevarra clarified that the German government has not, so far, requested assistance in the Wirecard probe.
"We are doing this on our own to find out if any act of fraud, falsification, or other financial crime in relation to Wirecard was committed in Philippine territory," he said.