MANILA (UPDATE) - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Saturday said he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to probe "fictitious entries" in the database of the Immigration bureau which supposedly showed that a former Wirecard executive returned to the country in June.
Guevarra, on June 24, said they are looking at the possibility that Jan Marsalek, who was recently fired as chief operating officer of Wirecard AG, the German fintech company embroiled in an accounting scandal, may still be in the Philippines as there was "something curious" in his record on the Immigration database.
Marsalek first arrived in the Philippines on March 3 and left on March 5.
The justice chief later disclosed on June 26 that Immigration records supposedly showed Marsalek arriving in the Philippines on June 23 and leaving the country in the morning of June 24 for China from the Cebu International Airport.
However, he said CCTV footage does not show him arriving and neither was there a flight for China from Cebu on the morning of June 24.
"The BI (Bureau of Immigration) has established that Jan Marsalek, former COO of Wirecard AG, did not arrive in the Philippines on June 23 based on CCTV footages, airline manifests, and other records. He also did not depart on June 24, as there was no such flight to China as indicated in the database of the Bureau of Immigration," Guevarra disclosed Saturday.
"The investigation has now turned to the persons who made false entries in the database, their motives, and their cohorts. The Immigration officers who encoded these fictitious entries have been relieved and are now facing administrative sanctions," he added.
He said he expects the bureau's fact-finding report by next week.
Depending on these results, Guevarra said he would direct the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the matter "more deeply and determine possible criminal responsibility."
He said neither the German government nor Wirecard has reached out to Philippine authorities regarding the case.
Wirecard AG became controversial after it was disclosed that the missing $2.1 billion funds may not have been missing because they may have been non-existent after all.
This after two Philippine banks came forward and said documents were forged to make it appear they are safekeeping money for the embattled payment processor firm.