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Fugitive Ex-Wirecard Exec Obtains Russian Passport – Reports

A wanted poster for Jan Marsalek. Sven Simon / picture alliance / TASS

A former top executive of disgraced payments company Wirecard believed to be under the protection of Russia’s security services near Moscow has at least two fake Russian passports, investigative reports said Monday. 

Austrian national Jan Marsalek is on Europol’s most-wanted list for alleged fraud after Wirecard — where he served as chief operating officer — filed for insolvency in 2020. He was said to have fled to Belarus via Estonia hours after his firing and has since settled in Russia. 

Marsalek received Russian citizenship with a fake Russian passport in the name of German Bazhenov in 2021, according to the Russian investigative website Dossier Center.

Bazhenov’s passport is not stored in the national database and its number matches that of Russian lawmaker Daria Mitina’s old passport, the report said.

It added, citing an unnamed FSB source, that Marsalek has a second Russian passport under an unknown name in case Bazhenov’s personal data leaked online. 

While in Minsk, Russian special services gave Marsalek a fake Austrian passport with the name of Max Meier that he allegedly used to cross the border into Russia, Dossier Center said.

Marsalek reportedly lives in an elite Moscow suburb known as Meyendorff Castle under Federal Security Service (FSB) protection. Dossier Center said it has also obtained video and photographs of Marsalek near an affluent housing estate in northwest Moscow.  

Once a rising star in the booming fintech sector, Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) was missing from its accounts.

The Kremlin, which previously said it was unaware of Marsalek’s whereabouts, has not yet commented on the latest reports.

According to the Dossier Center, Russian authorities deny that a person with the name Jan Marsalek is in Russia.

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