Prosecutors named to investigate complaint on Wirecard AG ‘scandal’

Published June 6, 2021, 9:56 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors have been named to conduct the preliminary investigation of the complaint filed against former Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark Kristopher G. Tolentino and his co-respondents in connection with the $2.1 billion “scandal” of the Germany-based firm Wirecard AG.

Assistant State Prosecutor Honey Rose E. Delgado, also spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG), said the investigating prosecutors are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Wendell Bendoval and Prosecution Attorney Ivn Maj Nopuente.

Delgado said Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento also issued a directive that “other pending or future cases between or among the same or related parties, involving the same controversy, shall likewise be consolidated to, and resolved by the same assigned prosecutors.”

She said the prosecutors have yet to determine the dates of the preliminary investigation of the complaint that was filed last Monday, May 31, by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

Aside from Tolentino, also named respondents were his law firm M.K.Tolentinto Law Office, former Wirecard AG executive and Austrian national Jan Marsalek, and bank employees Joey Dela Cruz Arellano and Judith Singayan Pe.

They have been accused of falsification of commercial documents in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012; violation of the General Banking Act in relation to the Central Bank Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act; violation the Electronic Commerce Act; and violation the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Delgado said the complaint was filed on allegations that the respondents dragged Philippine banks into the Wirecard AG scandal for holding trust accounts in the amount of 1.9 billion euros or 2.1 billion dollars.

Aside from the complaint filed last Monday, the NBI also lodged with the DOJ in August last year a criminal complaint against two immigration officers in connection with the Wirecard AG mess.

After preliminary investigation on the NBI complaint, “the Office of the Prosecutor General indicted immigration Officers Perry Michael Q. Pancho and Marcus Nicodemus” for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“They were involved in the tampering of the Bureau of Immigration records to make it appear that Jan Marsalek arrived in the Philippines on 23 June 2020 and departed for China on June 24, 2020,” she said.

“These cases are already pending in court,” she added.