Next episode in the Wirecard crime thriller: According to reports, Wirecard’s ex-CEO Jan Marsalek is said to have contacts with Russia. He compares himself to “secret agents”.
Would there be a Netflix series called “Wirecard“, it would captivate millions of viewers within a very short time. Too good, too exciting, and above all too complex, the economic thriller about the company from Munich-Aschheim, which generated billions in sales with payment services, seems.
First there is the story of the company’s meteoric rise. Started as a small financial company, Wirecard is growing into the first real tech company made in Germany, the celebrated star on the stock exchange, which will replace the time-honored Commerzbank in the first German stock exchange league, the Dax, in 2018.
In the second season, the first scratches on the company’s image: Wirecard becomes the game ball of the punters. Time and again reports in the British “Financial Times” about possible mockery in the company balance sheet.
The deep fall follows Wirecard’s glamorous ascent
What follows is the crash in season three: Wirecard Postponing his balance sheet presentation time and time again, investigators are raiding the company’s headquarters, doubts are growing that the company’s books are clean. The bomb finally bursts: Almost two billion euros have almost certainly disappeared from the balance sheet – money that is supposed to be in trust accounts in the Philippines.
Wirecard boss Markus Braun resigns, the stock crashes, the public prosecutor starts an investigation into suspicions of falsification of the balance sheet. In the meantime, he is arrested, is released on bail for five million euros. The search for the culprits begins, finance minister Olaf Scholz and Bafin, the banking supervisory authority, are becoming the focus of attention. Members of the Bundestag are considering a committee of inquiry.
Actually, the story could end there, a typical credits that announces the political consequences, any court rulings and prison terms. But the success of the series is enormous, the desire for a sequel is so great that the makers decide to spin a side line, a so-called spin-off.
Marsalek seems to have led a double life
We are now at the beginning of this new narrative. Her protagonist: Jan Marsalek, 40 years old, ex-sales director at Wirecard and thus one of the company’s key players alongside Braun.
After he was last seen as disappeared, as submerged in the Philippines, China, and then in Russia, more and more curious, adventurous, sometimes hair-raising details about his life are coming to light.
Media reports suggest that Marsalek is a species Double life has led. In addition to his work on the board, according to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the “Handelsblatt”, which refer to friends and chat protocols, the Austrian has also been heavily concerned with questions of internal and external security of states and refugee migration.
Mercenary force for Libya
According to this, Marsalek should build up a mercenary army in late 2018 Libya have started. A 15,000-strong militia, it was considered at the time, was to secure the country’s southern border to stop the migration of African refugees to Europe.
Marsalek apparently sought support for this plan in Russia. According to witnesses at a meeting reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Marsalek spoke of “Russian contacts” that are supposed to ensure “security” in Libya.
A report by the “Financial Times”, which deals with a meeting in 2017, fits with these testimonies. In a Munich luxury restaurant, Marsalek is said to have raved about a trip to Palmyra, Syria, which he wanted to undertake together with the “boys” from the Russian military.
Did Marsalek know the formula of the poison Novichok?
The newspaper went on to say that strikingly often, Marsalek’s interests in the past coincided with those of the Russian secret service. The Austrian allegedly even had secret knowledge, such as the chemical formula of the neurotoxin Nowitschok – that in the fatal attack Sergej Skripal, the Russian defector, was used in England.
The Wirecard manager
Jan Marsalek, born on March 15, 1980 in Vienna, was the second strong man behind company boss Markus Braun at Wirecard. Marsalek comes from simple backgrounds. He dropped out of school shortly before he was supposed to graduate from the French grammar school in Vienna and then worked for tech start-ups before he joined Wirecard at the age of 20. He has been part of the group for longer than Braun himself, has been promoted and was most recently responsible for the company’s controversial Asian business as Chief Sales Officer.
Was Marsalek itself part of the Russian secret service, even with connections in the Kremlin? Has he possibly tried to assert his interests in Europe?
Only Marsalek knows for sure. However, he did not oppose similar narratives to the weir in the end. At least this impression is gained by anyone who believes a report by the “Handelsblatt” on several messages that Marsalek is said to have sent to friends after his disappearance.
He has “multiple passports, like any good secret agent”
Accordingly, Marsalek bragged in chat that he had contacts with secret services, there is talk of the Israeli Mossad and of the CIA. The rumor that Wirecard credit cards for Secret agents exhibit, is said to be “not entirely wrong”, Marsalek is said to have written. According to the chat logs, he himself has “several passports, like any good secret agent”.
Can it be explained that it was initially thought to be in Asia, but is now said to be submerged in Russia? According to a report by the “Spiegel” Marsalek is said to be on the day of his release, June 18, reached Russia via Belarus be. This emerges from the entry register of the two countries – there has been no exit since then.
In Russia, on the other hand, you don’t want to know anything about all this. On reports that Marsalek was in the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskow said on Monday: “No, nothing is known.”
However, it is unlikely that the last word has been spoken. German investigators continue to search intensely for Marsalek. The next episode of the Wirecard thriller is certain.