Berlin – According to research by “Süddeutscher Zeitung” and “NDR”, the customs anti-money laundering unit received numerous suspicions in connection with Wirecard even before the Wirecard scandal became known. But only a fraction of that sum was passed on to law enforcement authorities. The federal finance ministry was initially unavailable for comment on Tuesday evening.
The so-called Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) investigates suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing and, if necessary, refers cases to law enforcement authorities. For example, banks are required to report to the FIU if they have evidence of such illegal transactions.
According to reports, the FIU is reviewing the reports received earlier in light of new information. This is evidence of criminal offenses such as falsification of balance sheet, fraud, breach of trust, market manipulation and insider trading. The NDR quoted the FIU as saying that 97 reports were identified “which may have a possible connection with the allegations currently being made” against Wirecard employees.
A spokesperson for the FIU confirmed to both media outlets that the authority has now forwarded 50 reports of suspicious actions to law enforcement authorities – but the majority of them only after the Wirecard scandal was become known. The allegations now being raised against Wirecard AG are unrelated to the primary mission of the FIU, which is to receive and analyze reports of suspicious transactions relating to money laundering and terrorist financing, a door said. – speech according to NDR.
The now insolvent payment service provider admitted air bookings of € 1.9 billion in June. The scandal had also made the federal government difficult to explain. The central questions are when exactly the government knew about the irregularities and whether it did too little. Following the scandal, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) presented an action plan which, among other things, provides for a strengthening of the role of the financial supervisory authority Bafin. The FIU is now part of a joint task force with Bafin investigating suspicions of money laundering at Wirecard.