Philippines Ascertaining Facts Over Death of Former Wire Card Executive Christopher Bauer

On Thursday, Menardo Guevarra, Philippine Secretary of Justice, said that his office was trying to procure a death certificate of "Christopher Reinhard Bauer"

The Philipines is trying to ascertain whether a death registered recently was that of Christopher Bauer, former Wirecard executive, who one among the several people under investigation for a multi-billion dollar fraud at the now-defunct German payments firm.

Menardo Guevarra, Secretary of Justice of the Philippines, said on Thursday that his office was attempting to procure a certificate for the death of an individual known as "Christopher Reinhard Bauer", which according to him has been logged in a civil registry last month in Manila.

Referring to the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the National Bureau of Investigation, Guevarra told Reuters, "Bauer is part of an ongoing NBI/AMLC investigation, and these agencies have an interest to know if he is still alive. We can't confirm until we see the death certificate."

Wirecard YouTube grab

An Alleged Philipines Link to The Scandal

The Southeast Asian country became connected to the accounting saga at Wirecard AG when the German firm initially claimed that a missing $2.1 billion had been kept in two Philippine banks, which the banks said was not true.

The central bank has said no money from Wirecard entered the Philippine financial system. Wirecard admitted that $2.1 billion of its cash probably did not exist. Auditor EY had said there were clear indications of an elaborate fraud involving multiple parties around the world.

CEO Under Scanner for Falsification of Travel Records

The Philippines was also linked to Wirecard through its former chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, who was recorded as entering the country on June 23 then leaving for China a day later, around the time that news of the scandal broke. Guevarra last month said those travel records had been falsified.

He confirmed on Thursday that Bauer was among the initial list of people and entities of interest in the Philippine investigation. They included three local firms - Centurion Online Payment International, PayEasy Solutions and ConePay International. Those companies have not responded to Reuters' requests for comment.

(With inputs from agencies)