Monday, 19 Oct 2020

Wirecard HQ raided by police as fraud probe gathers pace

Police and prosecutors have raided the headquarters of beleaguered payments firm Wirecard as part of a fraud investigation relating to its £1.7bn accounting black hole.

Officials from Munich carried out searches at four other properties in connection with the company’s activities, according to prosecutors.

They told Reuters they were investigating three other members of the board, in addition to former chief executive Markus Braun who resigned last month after the missing money was disclosed to the market.

A spokeswoman, the news agency reported, identified the three as Alexander von Knoop, Jan Marsalek and Susanne Steidl.

Mr Marsalek is a former director.

They are yet to comment on the developments and there is no detail on any specific allegations.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last month – the first member of Germany’s prestigious DAX share index to do so – but has continued to trade since.

The scandal has resonated across Europe.

It prompted the UK’s City watchdog to secure a freeze on Wirecard’s UK arm, Wirecard Card Solutions, which was said to have prevented thousands of customers from using their payment cards.

The precautionary restriction was introduced on Monday to protect the interests of consumers but lifted the following day.

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