Arrests Made For Organizing Wirecard’s Marsalek’s Escape

Two Austrian men have been arrested in Vienna for allegedly helping rogue Wirecard exec Jan Marsalek escape arrest after the payment company’s downfall last year, The Financial Times (FT) reports.

The two men were a former senior official with the Austrian secret service and a former right-wing MP. Both of them are accused of organized Marsalek’s escape to Belarus last summer.

Marsalek, the former second-in-command at Wirecard, is wanted for the vast money-laundering network that it was revealed Wirecard had been operating, of which Marsalek is believed to have been a mastermind. Marsalek, 40, is reported to have personally embezzled hundreds of millions of euros.

The two Austrians allegedly helped him escape just days before Munich prosecutors issued an arrest warrant, FT writes. According to a police report seen by FT, Marsalek reportedly escaped to Belarus last summer by private jet, which he paid for with cash.

The men who allegedly helped facilitate the escape are in custody, although authorities would not comment on their identities. The police documents say one man was a former secret service official and confidant with whom Marsalek had met for dinner on June 18, 2020, just hours after Marsalek was suspended at Wirecard.

The day after, Marsalek is reported to have taken a taxi to a private airfield, where he payed in cash to board a Cessna Citation Mustang 510 and fly to Minsk in Belarus, the report says.

Another official with the country’s secret service BVT was arrested Sunday (Jan. 24), allegedly for misusing official authority by passing on private information to Wirecard, FT reports.

The Wirecard scandal, having gone on since last summer when it was revealed that the once-beloved payments company was involved in a global money-laundering scheme, has now expanded to include investigations of auditors, banks and more. Commerzbank recently said it was defrauded in the scheme, saying executives had deceived the company.