Jan Marsalek, the former chief operations officer of Wirecard who went missing after his supposed trip to the Philippines last month to chase the missing 2 billion Euro in the company’s books, has been located in Belarus.
Marsalek reportedly entered the Philippines via Manila before flying to Cebu City and then to China in June. Philippine authorities said there was no footage of Marsalek arriving in the city nor were there records of a flight leaving Cebu for China.
Forged traveling tracks
According to investigative reporting website Bellingcat, the former Wirecard executive’s trip to the Philippines was forged. Investigations have pointed to Russia’s Federal Security Service’s, or FSB, involvement in helping him vanishing into thin air by tampering with Marsalek’s travel information. It explained that:
“FSB has complete control over the Russian border service, and thus over the centralized Russia-Belarus border database. Therefore, any manipulation of data would have to be done at the behest of, or at least with the consent of, the FSB. If this were to happen, this would indicate a direct collaboration between Jan Marsalek and the FSB...”
The FSB allegedly began its monitoring on Marsalek’s international trips at the beginning of 2015 and had stopped tracking his movement at the end of 2018. He was found using a number of different passports, including a third-country diplomatic passport. Russia’s FSB immigration data suggest that Russia’s security service had a long-standing interest in Marsalek. He was also a frequent visitor to the country.
As Philippine authorities believed his immigration records to the country were forged, it was assumed Marsalek hid in a different country. Based on Bellingcat’s investigation, Marsalek told a colleague that he’s in a country where “the same people have been in power for the last 25 years.” The investigators, who hypothesized that with Russia’s interest in Marsalek, he might be in a country with the same president for the past 25 years. Russia and Belarus share an external border. Data obtained by Bellingcat showed he flew to Belarus on June 19th and did not leave the country after that.
As Cointelegraph reported previously, Jan Marsalek bragged of ties with Russian intelligence services and touted secret documents about chemical weapons used in the UK.