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Wirecard's Dublin offices searched as fraud probe widens

Wirecard's Dublin offices searched as fraud probe widens

Irish police have raided Wirecard's Dublin offices, as investigations into the collapse of the German payments processor open up on multiple fronts.

Without naming Wirecard, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) said it was acting under a mutual legal assistance treaty from German authorities,

"The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) began a search under warrant at a financial services provider with a business premises in Dublin city centre today, Thursday, July 9,” the force said in a statement. “Detectives attached to the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau are assisting GNECB during the course of the searches, which are being conducted in an effort to obtain evidence concerning alleged fraud at the financial institution and its subsidiaries.”

The FT reported in October that profits at Wirecard’s Irish unit appeared to have been fraudulently inflated, with sales attributed to customers which had ceased to exist or denied a relationship with the company.

The unraveling of Wirecard's business dealings point to fraudulent activity on a massive scale, with multiple investigations taking place at business units across the globe, including Singapore, Dubai, India and Mauritius.

Authorities in Mauritius have begun a probe into potential violation of money-laundering laws or antiterrorism financing by the payments processor in connection to Wirecard’s 2015 acquisition of an Indian payments business.

Meanwhile, the former head of the group’s Dubai unit was arrested in Germany this week on suspicion of fraud and denied bail.

German police have also issued an arrest warrant for the company's chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, who has disappeared without trace.

In a bizzare twist, the FT reports that Marsalek touted secret documents about the use of a Russian chemical weapon in the UK, as he bragged of ties to intelligence services to ingratiate himself with London traders.

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